Marketing Week is reporting that 3 are going to launch a “Facebook phone” for Christmas.  Quoting from the report:

Mobile operator 3 is launching the first handset to have a “Facebook button” that will take users directly to the site. It will be part of an “ultimate handset”, which will be launched for Christmas.

It is the first operator to offer a handset that incorporates a social networking button into a phone. The launch comes as 3 ramps up its focus on mobile internet, which will be supported by a series of ad campaigns.

Mark Allera, 3 sales and marketing director, says the handset – which will be made by 3 – will create a “more integrated experience for the consumer”. It will be followed by other new handsets that will also be enabled with mobile internet functions.

He adds that mobile internet has the potential to “become as normal as text messaging”. He says: “We are working on making it easy and simple. You’ve got to focus on taking the barriers away.”

We’ve seen Facebook used as the hero by Vodafone in recent campaigns for mobile internet, and we blogged about this back in June with a post titled Flat rate data plans drive consumer behaviour and the mobile internet goes mainstream.  I’m often struck by the normob response to “do you have the internet on your phone” of no, but when you ask “do you access Facebook on your mobile” they say “all the time….”

This shows you that when it comes to mobile advertising, the mass market still trusts well-known brands (even Facebook over Vodafone) to promote new mobile services.