We guessed the latest batch of Facebook phone rumors from this morning wouldn’t be the last we’d hear about the supposed INQ mobile/Facebook collaboration, and on cue a new set of tidbits have arrived. GigaOm have been piecing together their own sources and have fleshed things out a little: they say Bloomberg’s H1 2011 timescale is over-confident but that the first network to see the Facebook phone will be Hutchinson’s 3, likely with a Spotify bundle in tow. While they reiterate that the vaunted AT&T deal hasn’t been finalized yet, they also say that, if Spotify manage their predicted December US launch, access could also be bundled on the AT&T version of the smartphone(s).
They also go on to mix in some speculation about the hardware itself, though it’s tricky to work out exactly where the leaks end and the wishful-thinking begins. A stripped-down “thin” Android build is the underlying OS, with Facebook an HTML5 layer on top; your Facebook login details trigger an auto-sync, pulling in contacts, calendar and multimedia.
Meanwhile there’ll be greater blurring of local vs. cloud, with photos taken with the Facebook phone’s camera automatically uploaded rather than just locally stored. GPS will link in with Places, and calendar data will be used to educate the phone as to where you are, where you’re going and who you might be meeting there.
If their sources are to be believed, the Facebook phone has been in the works for some time – longer than the more recent cooling of relations between the social networking site and Apple – and originally test hardware was supposed to be ready now. That deadline has apparently been missed, however, hence the later launch in 2011.