"We're not going to build a phone" - so said Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook's earnings call yesterday, trying once again to put those Facebook phone rumours to bed.
He's said it before - that making a Facebook phone would be "the wrong strategy" - but it failed to stop the gears of the tech rumour mill turning.
This time, the young CEO was more emphatic: "We're not going to build a phone. It's not the right strategy for us to build one integrated system... Let's say we sell 10 million units - that would be 1 per cent of users. Who cares for us?"
10 million units, no big deal
He's starting to sound a bit Ballmer as he continues, "We have a billion people using our products and we need to make Facebook really good across all the devices that they use.
"Rather than just building an app that's a version of the functionality that you have today, I think making it so that we can just go deeper and deeper is going to be a big focus for us."
While it's not obvious what that means, we wouldn't be surprised to see the social network at least working more closely with the big phone manufacturers and software-makers to bed the network more deeply into phones' operating systems. It's already baked pretty well in to Android and iOS, but it sounds like Facebook wants to go even further.
So Facebook won't make a phone of its own, but that doesn't mean it's not "a mobile company" - Zuck's words, because for the first time ever more people are using Facebook from mobile devices than on the web.
Okay Zuck. No Facebook phone. We believe you. (Just.)
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