Facebook phone is going to be a reality with Apple iPhone engineers’support. Social networking giant is preparing to launch its own smartphone by 2013, says Raaj Datta of NVONews.Com
Facebook is rumoured to be gearing up for making hay while the smartphone boom is still on. The social networking giant plans to release a Facebook smartphone by 2013. The piece of news comes within a week of Google announcing the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.
Various news sources and also the New York Times have reported that the social networking giant, Facebook, has hired former Apple engineers who have worked on the iPhone and the iPad ahead of a plan to come up with its very own Facebook phone. This is also reportedly the third attempt by Facebook to come up with a smartphone. The previous attempts probably crumbled because Facebook found it difficult to tread through without industry experts with hands-on experience.
The move sounds good, especially for investors and shareholders of Facebook. Post the launch of the IPO, share prices saw a steep decline on account of Facebook’s inability and technical expertise to cash in on the mobile platform. So far, on the mobile platform, Facebook is at a primitive stage where ads are concerned. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg had in the recent past reportedly admitted that without a dedicated phone, Facebook might just remain an app.
So far, the company hasn’t denied or admitted the reports of Facebook planning a smartphone of its own. Facebook has so far maintained that it’s working across the entire mobile industry. Reports have suggested that the social networking giant is partnering up with HTC on a smartphone. Facebook currently has just three apps on the iPhone. Last week, Facebook released a camera app that is similar to the Instagram service it recently acquired.
If Facebook goes the Google way, we might even see HTC or any other ailing mobile hardware company bought up with the money it raised from the IPO. In February 2011, HTC unveiled two smartphones featuring dedicated Facebook buttons, so it won’t exactly come as a surprising move. As and when Facebook enters the smartphone market, it would not logically challenge Apple, given the dedicated fan-base that Apple will always enjoy. A Google-Facebook war of smartphones is definitely possible.
If Facebook goes with RIM, we might see a Facebook skin on top of the Blackberry OS that should work exceptionally well. In case, Facebook opts for HTC, it could be the open source OS Android as well. But one thing is certain if Facebook comes up with a smartphone; the phone would be advertising based and hence, it should come cheap. That should maximise the buying and acceptance.
So, what concerns Facebook?
Facebook’s primary concern is seamless integration of advertisements into the mobile platform. That would only materialise if Facebook moves beyond just being an app, whether for Android or iOS. What it needs is embedded functionality similar to what Apple has done with Twitter. The iOS 5 has integrated Twitter at the system-level, a move which Apple could have tried with Facebook. It didn’t, so ground reality for Facebook is to come up with a solution of its own that pops out relevant advertisement right in front of the users on the mobile screen any time.