Facebook denies to launch branded phones with HTC

A Facebook page is displayed on a computer screen in Brussels in this April 21, 2010 file photo. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook has no plans to launch Facebook-branded phones with Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, it said on Thursday, following reports that it planned to launch an official tie-up next month.

“This is really just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs (application programing interfaces) and integrated them into their device in an interesting way,” said Dan Rose, head of business development at Facebook.

London business newspaper City A.M. had reported that HTC would unveil two new Facebook-branded mobile phones at next month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, in a story that was widely picked up in other media.

“The rumors around there being something more to this HTC device are overblown,” Rose told journalists at a company event in London. Asked whether the device would be Facebook-branded, he answered: “No.”

Mobile is an increasingly important driver of traffic to Facebook, which says 250 million users per month access the social network on mobile devices.

HTC was the manufacturer of the first Google-branded phone, the Nexus One.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter