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  (Source: Google Play)
It's unclear whether Samsung will want to invest too deeply in a partnership with Facebook

After the flop of the HTC Corp.'s (TYO:6758) "First" phone, which carried Facebook, Inc.'s (FB) not-so-exclusive and not-so-well reviewed "Home" Android skin, Facebook is reportedly fishing for a new mobile partner.  The CEO of the world's biggest social network, Mark Zuckerberg, was in South Korea this week talking with Shin Jong Kyun, president of the world's largest smartphone maker, Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).

Currently, Facebook's Home skin is available for premium Samsung Android smartphones, such as the Galaxy S IV, however it is not loaded on any by default.  And that might be a good thing: currently 19,749 reviewers of "Home" on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Play marketplace have given it an average rating of 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Facebook is seeing more users access its mobile services, but has struggled to achieve the kinds of usage times and monetization that it has achieved on the non-mobile side. That's been a major factor in the 37 percent decline in Facebook share prices, since the company's May 2012 public offering.  For the year Facebook is down 9.1 percent in a year where the market is generally up by double digits.

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg greets Samsung Electronics' president of mobile sales and marketing, Lee Don Joo, during his South Korea trip. [Image Source: Bloomberg]

An exclusive handset from Samsung could give a big boost to Facebook, but it remains to be seen whether Samsung wants to put its weight behind as poorly received a product as Home.

Mark Zuckerberg also spent time in South Korea meeting with President Park Geun Hye.  Mr. Zuckerberg announced his commitment to helping fund South Korean startups.  South Korea is currently Asia's fifth largest economy, behind China, Russia, India, and Japan.

President Park has had a busy couple of months when it comes to tech industry figures.  In April she met with Google CEO Larry Page (April 26) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates (April 22).

Source: Bloomberg





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