facebook phone

Yesterday, Facebook announced their much anticipated “Facebook Phone” aka the hilariously named HTC First, which turns out to be nothing more than a mid-range HTC device sporting Android 4.1 and yet-another-custom-skin. That skin simply features the most popular features of Facebook e.g. having it on your lockscreen, etc. but is it a game-changer? Not at all.

Indeed, after enduring the presentation, users familiar with mobile technology may have had a case of déjà vu as Zuckerberg and others focused on the “people first” aspect of their new money maker.  There’s little doubt that Facebook (and HTC) borrowed heavily from the Windows Phone philosophy of allowing your friends and family to be front and center on your phone versus “just more apps”. 

For two years now Microsoft has been pushing the “people first” slogan in mobile (they've have even filed for a patent!) and now it appears Facebook is going that route.

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Reports are circling around the web that the massive social giant Facebook, which is now a public company, is still looking at creating their own hardware. The Facebook Phone, or the FacePhone? Who knows, but according to the New York Times CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seriously looking at the mobile market as a means for future revenue and ventures. 

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Microsoft has desires for the much-rumoured certified Facebook Phone to be built on Windows Phone foundations, according to sources familiar with company plans. The social network has been tied to Android when it came to their own device being discussed, much like what Amazon has done with the Kindle Fire. Of course we should take this with a massive truck load of salt, but it's an interesting topic of discussion.

Why would Microsoft want Facebook to use their mobile platform over Android? According to the source, Microsoft has already integrated services into Facebook, but the added traffic to Bing and other products could be huge with the size of the Facebook user base. The company is also deeply interested in penetrating the mobile market to offer a NFC-powered payment product for consumers with supported Windows Phones, something which the Lumia 610 features. They want to be the physical version of PayPal before Google advances with Wallet.

But the real question is: why would we want a Facebook phone at all? Instead of wasting time building its own devices, Facebook could simply enter into a deal with the big M to promote Windows Phone on the social networking domain as the dominant mobile Facebook experience - which it arguably is. With Microsoft's OS sporting deep Facebook integration (something other platforms do not feature) to create an immersive and convenient user experience, many would comment it makes sense for this to be taken into consideration.

Something for your guys to consider. Would you like to see a Facebook Phone running Windows? Or are handsets like the HTC Status the way forward for Facebook?

Source: BusinessInsider; via: Tom's Guide; thanks 3lackDeath for the tip!

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A lot has been discussed about what the Google-Motorola deal means to the smaller Android OEMs on the market. Om Malik of GigaOm has noted that several "mobile industry insiders" have expressed concern over the deal and relying too heavily on Google for Android. Now, one small handset maker, INQ who came up with the Skype and Facebook phone, is taking a serious look at Windows Phone 7 and saying so publicly. The owner of INQ Hutchison Whampoa, went on record saying:

“We see a number of major vendors very seriously considering Windows Mobile as a core platform and therefore we are following their lead and examining it as well to complement our work in Android to date...The advantages with Windows Mobile is that the legal issues and resulting costs seem to be much less." (Note: he uses "Windows Mobile" here accidentally)

He notes that due to Android's success, it has become a big target for litigation and perhaps if Windows Phone were that big, the same thing could happen. (While a possibility, we'd suggest that Microsoft is in much better shape with IP and patents than Google.) Finally, after discussing Windows Phone he knocks Motorola down a notch stating

“It is telling that the Motorola Board decided that they could get more value out of 15-20 year old patents rather than use their huge R&D to create new exciting technologies over the next 10 years which is what Motorola used to do very well.”

While INQ is hardly a major player in the field, seeing as the owner of the company, Whampoa also owns the 3G mobile network "3", so they could be a big deal in the future. What can we say other than we like where this is all going for Windows Phone?

Source: GigaOm

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