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marc

May 28th 2012 12:45 pm

Are you ready for the Facebook phone?

The New York Times is reporting that Facebook is considering building its own smartphone -- for the third time. According to the article, the social network has hired away a bunch of Apple's iPhone and iPad developers, and sees developing its own phone as a top priority:

“Mark [Zuckerberg] is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,” a Facebook employee said.

But would there be any reason to buy a Facebook smartphone over any other, even if you're a diehard Facebook fan? It seems to me that, like the Kindle Fire, a Facebook phone would have to be priced well below the competition, and offer some features that you can't get anywhere else, to even be worthy of consideration. And what about carriers? Would Facebook start its own MVNO, offering cheap (or free) prepaid service to boost adoption? But the MVNO space is littered with failures by companies much bigger and more experienced than Facebook, such as Disney, which tried to enter the space several times.

Right now, Facebook is flush with cash, and can do pretty much anything it wants. But that doesn't mean it will succeed at everything. And this strikes me as one area where failure is much more likely than success.

What do you think?

bits.blogs.nytimes.com­/2012­/05­/27­/facebook­-tries­-t...

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6 replies
ShivanDana

I believe that Facebook is where it belongs, an app on other mobile platforms. Personally, I don't have the faintest interest for a Facebook phone when I can choose from phones like the Samsung Galaxy S series, Microsoft's Lumia series or Apple's iPhone.
5 like dislike
TgD

Agreed. Could you imagine if there was a Myspace phone a few years back? I would feel terrible being an owner of one today

The same argument wil apply to this phone in a few years I bet
2 like dislike
NeuroMan42

FRAK NO... not will how awful their privacy is. LOL... who seriously would want to use it?!? I am not even a fan of the Windows phone... since they cannot make their OS stable, and I even use Windows.
3 like dislike
rogergil

For myself? No way. For a teenager whose social circle I want to keep an eye on or my elderly mother that only needs to see pictures of my niece? Yes. The only reason I could see most people using a Facebook-branded phone is if it's a relatively simple feature phone, has discounted pricing on data, and won't hurt my pocket. I couldn't see it being successful if it tries to be a full-on smartphone because getting an expensive handset that's catering to one social platform makes no sense. Keep it cheap and they may have a winner here... assuming they market it correctly.
3 like dislike
beau

The Facebook phone definitely fits their corporate goals, but I fail to see why I as a customer would want such a thing.
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xraydj

The user experience/interface on Facebook is so transitory and capricious, I can't imagine how bad an entire FB OS would be.
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