Rumours that Facebook is working on a mobile phone have intensified following reports that the company has inked a deal with hardware firm INQ Mobile.
A report on Bloomberg quoting three sources familiar with the matter said that the social networking site is working with the hardware firm on two smartphones which will be sold through AT&T.
The report, which gives scant details of its sources, said that the phones are likely to be introduced in Europe first, and will launch with onboard social networking features.
Hooks into Facebook are regular features on handsets and operating systems these days, so how this will differ remains to be seen.
Muddying the waters, however, is a claim from one of the sources that the phones will run Google's Android operating system
There is already an adequate Android Facebook app, and the fact that Facebook has not decided "whether its name will be used on the devices" may suggest that the phones will offer other social networking services.
The Bloomberg report added that one phone is expected to have a Qwerty keyboard and touch screen, while the other will resemble an iPhone with just a touch screen. Again, these seem fairly likely candidates for any new hardware launch.
Facebook has vehemently denied the rumours, telling V3.co.uk in a statement that "our approach has always been to make all phones and apps more social, not build a phone".
The statement added that Facebook has links with a number of developers and manufacturers, but that this does not mean that any handsets are in the works.
"The people mentioned in the story are working on these projects. The bottom line is that, whenever we work on a deep integration, people want to call it a 'Facebook phone' (even internally) because that's such an attractive sound bite, " the company said.
"But our real strategy is to make everything social and not build one phone or one integration."
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