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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg says no Facebook-branded phone, but dozens with Facebook integration

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Facebook’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday again torpedoed rumors that Facebook planned to launch its own phone, saying the world’s most popular social networking site would instead help roll out dozens of phones with ‘much deeper social integration than we have so far.’

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, Zuckerberg said: ‘A lot has been made about a single Facebook phone. But this year, you can expect to see dozens of phones.’

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As we told you in September, Facebook is giving mobile phone manufacturers the software to build social networking into their operating systems. Facebook wants smart phones to more seamlessly deliver the experience users have on its online service. There had been speculation that Facebook would work with one manufacturer as Google did on its Nexus phone.

Facebook chief technology officer Bret Taylor said at a conference last month that Facebook planned to focus on mobile in 2011 as vital to its future. Nearly 31% of users accessed social networking from smart phones in January, according to research firm ComScore.

On Monday, Facebook introduced a new SIM card made with Gemalto which makes it easy for people with a feature phone (versus the smart phone) to access Facebook.

Taiwanese phone maker HTC on Tuesday released two new smart phones targeting Facebook users, the ChaCha and the Salsa. Each has a dedicated Facebook button that makes it easy to access the site.

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-- Jessica Guynn


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