Rumors that Facebook has been working on its own smartphone have been around for more than a year now. Last fall, a report came out that the social network had tapped HTC to help it build the handset.

Since then, the speculation has only gotten louder. Yesterday, Bloomberg even threw its hat into the ring. But this afternoon, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to squash the chatter…

Today, Facebook held its first earnings call after going public back in May. And Zuckerburg was on hand to talk about the company’s performance over the past three months, and field questions from analysts and investors.

With all of the phone rumors flying about, you knew the question would come up: what is the future of Facebook’s mobile strategy?

The CEO responded:

“We want to not just have apps that people use, but also be as deeply integrated into these systems as possible. We want to support a development ecosystem where other apps can build on top of Facebook, so that’s why you’ll see us do things like support Apple in the iOS integration they wanted to do. There are lots of things that you can build in other operating systems as well that aren’t really like building out a whole phone, which I think wouldn’t really make much sense for us to do.”

While Zuckerberg’s answer seems to effectively squash the Facebook phone rumors, as BusinessInsider‘s Steve Kovach points out, it still leaves the door wide open for a Facebook operating system.

The company could be using those poached Apple engineers to build a platform that other hardware manufacturers, like HTC, could build upon. And between the ongoing Android lawsuits, and Windows Phone struggling for marketshare, the list of interested parties is probably a lot longer than you think.

  • Solowalker

    Do they really need their own phone at this point? I mean, even just for iOS you will now have the ability to have your Facebook contacts and calendar events on your phone, app integration at a system level for other apps to plug into your account, be able to post a status update from anywhere via Notification Center, a dedicated Facebook camera app that you can upload from and view friends’ photos, a dedicated Facebook messaging app, an app for Facebook checkins, and the native Facebook client for everything else (current version rewrite coming soon with a totally revamped version next year).

    Seriously, what else do you need? The only thing they don’t have quite yet is Facebook phone calls, but you can get that with several other free apps like T-Mobile’s Bobsled. I really don’t think they need to build their own OS to have a “Facebook phone.” We pretty much will have the last piece of that with iOS 6 (and you can pretty much have it already with an Android phone).

  • No one would buy them anyways.

  • Metroview

    bro rape face.

  • JaeM1llz

    “There are lots of things that you can build in other operating systems as well that aren’t really like building out a whole phone, which I think wouldn’t really make much sense for us to do.” Nothing definitive about that statement at all, and if they were in planning for entering the smartphone arena, I doubt they would want their competitors to know. I don’t think they are looking into it right now, but it’s definitely still a possibility.

  • then we will see instagram phone or angry bird phone ^_^

  • madmaxmedia

    Welcome to the Social!!