After a horrendous week of basically being told by almost everyone that they suck, Facebook might have some good news on the horizon? According to various reports, it seems perhaps that Facebook is secretly (or not so secretly) working on a Facebook phone. Yes, coming perhaps in 2013 will be a mobile smart-phone, all about Facebook, with everything you could want about..well, Facebook.
According to the LA Times:
Rumors and reports that Facebook has been working on building its own cellphone go back to 2010 when Tech Crunch reported that two high-level Facebook staffers had been tasked with developing a Facebook phone in secret.
The rumor resurfaced in 2011 when All Things D reported that the company was working with the Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC to create a cellphone, code-named “Buffy,” that has the social network integrated into “the core of its being.”
While Facebook refused to comment on Buffy specifically, the company did send All Things D the following statement: “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”
However, some people are asking, why does anyone really want a Facebook phone? CNET Columnist Chris Matyszczyk doesn’t think it would be a good idea:
In Facebook’s case, I would be surprised if there were too many human beings for whom the essential idea of a phone made by Facebook is terribly exciting. The Facebook brand isn’t that strong. It’s more of a utility. It isn’t the sort of brand where acolytes cannot wait for the next thing to come out of Facebook.
SlashGear agrees and thinks the rumors are complete bull-hoey:
Facebook hasn’t been the minor player the social segment for some time now, and chasing that position in mobile would do it few favors. Today, the smartphone market is dominated by two platforms, iOS and Android. Microsoft’s struggles to broach that dominance with Windows Phone (and its own untold billions) shows just how difficult a challenge it can be.
Mark Zuckerberg already has a footprint on each. Why should it threaten that position by becoming a bit-player in its own right? It’s a zero-sum game, really, distracting your development investment toward a platform with very few users from rivals with millions.
The Guys at IMGrind however seem to like the idea:
When you think of examples like Amazon and Apple that have gotten vertical with software, hardware, online stores, etc, it is obvious how profitable it can be to own and control more of the user experience. Whether or not Facebook pulls the trigger and builds a mobile device we will have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure, they will not rest on past success, they will continue to test and try new things, that’s what got them to this point.
What are your thoughts on a Facebook phone?