Despite its claims to the contrary, it looks like Facebook is, indeed, preparing to launch smartphones based on its social network features. Bloombergreports that "Facebook Inc. is working with mobile-handset manufacturer INQ Mobile Ltd. on two smartphones that may be carried by AT&T (T) Inc."
The devices are expected to launch in Europe in the first half of 2011 and in the U.S. in the second half of next year. The handsets will probably work on the Google (GOOG) Android mobile OS, another win for the software product.
Since many Facebook customers already use the social network's mobile applications to interact with friends and build their profiles, a new handset with Facebook "built in" seems redundant. But the company has a powerful brand, and that may be all it needs to pick up market share in the smartphone sector.