Sources: Facebook, HTC [First announcement], The Verge
quote: Facebook unveiled its long-awaited mobile phone platform today. It is, as assumed, a Facebook “layer” on top of Google Android. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, or even take a detailed look at the presentation. But I can already see where it might be useful and popular.I don’t expect many happy iPhone users to bolt to Facebook phones — not yet, at least. Apple still has a big lead in hardware and OS quality, apps, media, and customer service.I also don’t expect hardcore Android users — the type of people who buy and love Samsung Galaxy Notes, or Google Nexus devices — to jump to Facebook devices. That’s not the target audience.But that’s hardly the entire phone market. It’s actually only a fraction of it.What about those millions of people who have bought Android phones — and some iPhones, probably — who don’t really care that they’re Android phones, or even smartphones?The types of people who, every couple of years, go into the Verizon or AT&T shop and walk out with whatever newish thing the store rep says they should buy? (All those people who buy Android phones but don’t really show up in usage logs.)Or even first-time smartphone buyers?My guess is that many — most? — of these people are Facebook users, and could easily see some utility in having Facebook features highlighted on their phones. And — bonus — Facebook’s software looks good. Much better than the junk that ships with typical low-end Android devices.Boom. Done. Easy, defensible purchase, assuming the price is right.Facebook isn’t likely to MySpace Android or iOS any time soon. But this is a smart, ambitious project for Facebook. I like it.