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Facebook phone inbound? We'll find out on Wednesday

Journalists have been invited to Facebook's command centre in California this Wednesday -- could it be the announcement of a Facebook-branded mobile phone?

Facebook is holding a mobile-themed press conference this Wednesday. Journalists have been invited to the social network's command centre in California, for what could be the announcement of a Facebook-branded mobile phone.

The invitation shows a string and cup phone, suggesting a phone-related announcement. Could it be the Facebook phone that set the Web's rumour mill spinning like a Catherine wheel in September?

Facebook won't admit it's working on a phone -- but then Apple and Google didn't shout it from the rooftops either -- but the world's largest social network is reportedly putting its service at the core of a mobile operating system. It's likely this will involve partnering with a hardware manufacturer for deep integration between Facebook and the handset's software -- possibly Android.

On the other hand, the announcement could be an official iPad app, which is surprisingly yet to surface. Until the official version does arrive, you're stuck with the iPhone app, or a third-party one -- we chose Friendly as the pick of the social networking apps in our recent Best iPad apps.

Facebook seems to have been making more announcements of late, even when what's being announced isn't that exciting. Last month Mark Zuckerberg personally unveiled Facebook Groups, which cycnics -- okay, us -- saw as a charm offensive to counter any negative portrayal of El Zuck in David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network.

The press conference kicks off at 10am California time, which is 6pm over here. Crave will keep you posted on just what the Zuckster has to say. Are you crossing your fingers for a Facebook phone? What other mobile service would you like to see from the site?