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The Facebook phone has been rumored for some time already, but recent events make us believe that a Facebook Phone will be released very soon for developing countries like Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and more in Asia.

But despite the mounting evidence for a Facebook phone, the company’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said during an earnings call that it wouldn’t make sense to produce such a device. Citing the popularity of Facebook’s app, which is among the most downloaded apps on every platform it’s on, Zuckerberg said there’s no point getting into hardware.

However last week’s release of the feature “Call Friends for Free With Facebook’s Messenger App” is a huge step into that direction, and we expect to see soon Facebook Phone in more hands.

Now, with a single click on the information icon “i” on the Facebook messenger, a user could start a free call with a friend (Note: your friend should have the facebook app installed on their phone for the feature to work. The feature is not yet available for all Facebook users yet).

Facebook-phone-Call-friend-1

Interestingly, the Call’s look is more like that of the iphone so its  not such a bad thing save for the fact that.. well, a little more creativity would be appreciated

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Facebook has a rare opportunity window to blow up the legacy of telecommunication companies in Africa with its phone. The perfect storm conditions are already met on the ground: Facebook’s high penetration among the young and hipsters in Africa, and the horribly expensive and poor service of the old telco companies in Africa.

Facebook VOIP in partnership with Skype and Microsoft will disrupt many many players.  In the upcoming months we will see Facebook/Skype focused phones released in Lagos and Nairobi by Facebook or third party service providers or manufacturers. The last battle between the old telco and the “pirates of Silicon Valley” has just started and it sure is going to be one interesting battle to watch considering the benefit it holds for the users with so much love for their social networking habits.[SILICON AFRICA]