Print 11 comment(s) - last by Dark Legion.. on Sep 21 at 10:56 AM

  (Source: Facebook Mobile)
But a Facebook-branded smartphone is definitely a possibility

Yesterday, TechCrunch broke the news that Facebook was secretly building its own smartphone, or at least developing a deeply integrated OS for a smartphone. 

In a quick follow-upCNET asked the social media company for comment and received this in return; "Facebook is not building a phone," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET. "Our view is that almost all experiences would be better if they were social, so integrating deeply into existing platforms and operating systems is a good way to enable this."

But, it appears that the "Facebook phone" is still a possible reality, in the same way that the Nexus One was "the Google phone." Google had a huge say in the design and specifications of the phone, while the actual building was done by a third-party manufacturer (HTC).  It makes much more sense for Facebook to go this route, developing an Android-based smartphone with deep Facebook integration to run on a single carrier with exclusivity, ala the Apple iPhone.

CNET noted that although the company denied building a smartphone, it did not respond when asked whether it was developing a Facebook-branded phone with the help of a third party. Another source told CNET that "the concept is in the very early stages and Facebook apparently has not determined whether to proceed."

CNET questions the marketability of a Facebook-branded phone, and cites the relatively weak sales of the Nexus One, and the disastrously disappointing Microsoft Kin (which deeply integrated social media and mobile phones), as reasons for pause.

But, the Microsoft Kin failed for reasons other than deep social media integration -- price and a weak, disjointed OS.

If done right -- especially if coupled with the already massively successful Android OS -- a Facebook phone could be hugely popular. After all, 500 million built-in customers can't be wrong.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Bad idea
By FITCamaro on 9/20/2010 8:56:49 AM , Rating: 5
Every major smartphone has a facebook application. What more is needed? You can already "check in" to wherever you are. You can already post photos with location tagging. What more could facebook do? Let you play farmville from your phone? Yeah that'd be great. Then we'd have people getting in accidents because they were watering their crops instead of watching the road.

RE: Bad idea
By MrBlastman on 9/20/2010 9:40:32 AM , Rating: 4
For sure. I've seen more and more people lately doing who knows what on their smartphone while driving down the road. A couple of weeks ago I saw a girl almost drive off the side of the road five times in only a mile and a half, swerving everywhere completely oblivious to what was going on. When she finally pulled up to a red light, I pulled along side her and yelled out the window, "Put the phone down and pay attention!"

But, I suppose, those crops aren't going to water themselves and if people don't pick up the phone and do it while driving, they're going to lose out on a huge harvest and starve all winter long...

RE: Bad idea
By jeffbui on 9/20/2010 10:13:46 AM , Rating: 2
You can already play Farmville on your iPhone.

RE: Bad idea
By FITCamaro on 9/20/2010 1:21:24 PM , Rating: 4
Damn it.....

RE: Bad idea
By Dark Legion on 9/21/2010 10:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
You can already play Farmville on your smartphone .

Fixed. =) At least in android, you can get a full desktop view of sites, so you can play/view as if you were on your home pc. Though why someone would feel the need to do this, or use a phone at all if they can't drive in a straight line, is beyond me.

RE: Bad idea
By Suntan on 9/20/2010 10:35:00 AM , Rating: 3
Not everyone needs a smartphone.

I am sure a large majority of parents with teens would rather get them a phone with a $50 price (w/2yr contract) and a $15 data plan than a $150 price w/ $30 contract. Feel free to make up whatever numbers above you want, but basically, a “feature” phone with extended facebook capability, instead of a smartphone w/ a downloaded facebook app.

If they could offer said phone, at an *actual* cost savings vs. a true smartphone, then it would likely be a big hit with teens and their (bill paying) parents.

The Kins failed because they were feature phones, but at the same price as smartphones.


RE: Bad idea
By MrBlastman on 9/20/2010 11:17:20 AM , Rating: 2
Speaking of teenagers and smartphones, last Friday my wife and I went out for pizza with our 7 mo-old daughter. We picked up a pie and headed out to the park to sit on the lawn and enjoy the nice, changing air--fall is ushering its way in and this is one of the best times of year to be outside, at least here.

So we arrived at the park and found a nice spot next to the playground on the main lawn in front of the pavilion. It would have been nice to sit on the pavilion, actually, with its cold, concrete yet raised floor and a nice awning above, overlooking the rolling locks of grass--if it were not for a frolicing gaggle of teenagers. Yes, that rotten pest that just never will go away. There they were, about ten or twelve of them, beasting away at each other, running about doing the odd things that they do.

Funny that they were on the pavilion, actually. It was almost like we were watching a show--for free. We sat down and ate our pizza as our daughter munched on a book (it's how she gets her fiber), watching these goons from afar with amusement. What we witnessed was short of spectacular. As they milled about making noise and talking, every couple of seconds we'd see a few of them look down at their smartphones, entranced by their electronic screens. They'd stand and stare at them for a minute, then return to their musings with the others.

But, almost as soon as they returned to reality, they were sucked back in by the devices once more. It was as if their freedom had been compromised by their silicon leaders, enslaved to byte at life, only a few moments at a time. Thankfully there was a girl who was being picked on and being chased around the field by a few others to add relief to what could have been an otherwise dull show. Teenagers at the pavilion, now I know why it is called drama.

By BSquared on 9/20/2010 10:55:13 AM , Rating: 2
Wasn't the Kin basically a social networking phone, with facebook/myspace all rolled into it? Other than being primarily facebook, how is this any different?

RE: Erm...
By cjohnson2136 on 9/20/2010 1:05:06 PM , Rating: 2
It could be different depending on how the facebook phone ids developed. The Kin was pretty much a smartphone with facebook and social networking features built into it. If they could make a phone, not a smart phone, with built in facebook features it might work because a monthly plan would not cost as much. So it depends on how they develop it smartphone with facebook features will fail, normal phone with facebook features might work.

Facebook skypealike
By retepallen on 9/20/2010 9:00:00 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I think they will develop a 'Skype' type software which they could integrate into existing Facebook apps for all platforms as an additional revenue stream.

That would fit both the 'phone' and 'app' tags the article talks about without developing a whole phone or OS.

By 91TTZ on 9/20/2010 2:57:32 PM , Rating: 2

How social do people need to be? I'm not suggesting that people be socially inept and be unable to talk to others, but when you're receiving up to the minute updates about the virtual crops belonging to some guy you barely knew in high school many years ago, incoherent thoughts related to a friend of a friend buying dog food at the store, or some guy you work with posting emo rants about politics, I think it's gone too far.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki