Monday, September 20, 2010

Is Facebook Working on a Phone?

facebook_logo I can’t see them making one. But maybe that’s just me.

Rumors started swirling over the weekend that Facebook, the popular social network, was working on a mobile phone. All of these rumours were all started by TechCrunch, who reported that an insider had given them some information that Facebook was developing their own mobile phone operating system and were apparently working with a third party to create the hardware. All of this has been denied officially by Facebook, but it doesn’t really mean that Facebook isn’t working on something.

TechCrunch last year was the site that broke the story that Google was working on their own mobile phone and so they do have some credibility when it comes to finding the inside scoop. But I find myself not believing this one. What would Facebook gain from having a phone?

Then again, the same could be said about Google creating a mobile operating system and ultimately a phone. Google has worked to get people increasingly into their ecosystem of produces so they can make more money. Could this be Facebook’s motive for a Phone? Given a lot of the changes that have occurred to Facebook over the years, I have to believe they would want to be in more places, so that Facebook becomes a larger experience for people in their daily lives.

But one has to think the part of this must be partly involved with Google, and Apple to a lesser extent, trying to build social networks. Just how Google made the move into the Apple dominated mobile business, Facebook maybe set to try and move into Google and Apple’s business space. Well that is assuming the rumours are true.

As for the Facebook phone being a low end device that does data, I have to believe that Facebook learned from Microsoft’s mistake. The Kin earlier this year, flopped partly due to the fact that they had expensive data plans attached to them. The Kin phones were great, but no one in the low end market was really interested in spending high end data rates to get the phone. I would have to imagine that the Facebook phone would have a similar challenge as the Kin, since to access Facebook you will need to have data and if a major cell network isn’t willing to cut the cost of the data plan, I can’t see the Facebook phone even having a chance of survival.

Then again, maybe with time Facebook may find a solution to the data plan dilemma. Until they do, I’m calling this rumour a bust. What about you?

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