Facebook to Enter Mobile Phone Market in 2011

Despite being based on Android, a Facebook phone would be competition for Google as much as it is for Apple. Google benefits from ad revenue tied to their search and other services which would likely be supplanted by Facebook services on a Facebook-based phone.

Facebook to Enter Mobile Phone Market in 2011 – Mac Rumors.
I wonder if Facebook devices, or Verizon Bing devices will be counted by Google as Android activations.

See also: asymco | Is a Facebook phone destined to be a Vanity smartphone?

  • Roman

    This is getting curiouser and curiouser. When will Google realize that Android is eroding its core market, not helping it? What will they do?

    • Google knows what's going on. I suppose they will just keep doing what they're doing. Maybe they rationalize the situation like Microsoft does when Windows gets pirated. Yes, they lose sales but the platform benefits in the long term. Not sure I buy this.

    • ChuckO

      What can they do? Android is open.

  • Famousringo

    And the autonomous unguided missile flies on.

  • David Kinlay

    I know Android is 'open'. But maybe too open

    • Tom

      The open java software community has its worldview summed up in the phrase: no restraints; no regulations; no regards for another's rights" . Oracle developers were ranting and raving against it for suing Google over misappropriating its IP. They were as blind to the future as HP is when it comes to printers…if it ain't open, it's no good.
      Doesn't work in sports, law, or the stock market.

  • dms

    What's in it for Facebook?

    And why would anyone pick this phone over an iPhone, Windows 7 phone, or generic Android phone? Seems like the mobile Facebook experiences on these platforms are generally pretty good.

    • Price. This will be a cheap feature phone for (primarily) young people. I think it's actually targeted more to Blackberry users who are now addicted to BBM.

    • kevin

      "What's in it for Facebook?" Facebook gets to be the platform where everyone lives. It would sit between the OS and the user. They'd probably wanted to do the same on the iPhone, but a single app doesn't have enough freedom to do it (thus, Joe Hewitt's complaints). Right now, Apple has all the basic apps – SMS, Mail, Contacts, Phone, App Store, and control over what these apps link to on the phone, PC and web. Facebook wants to be in that place; the place where everyone starts (at a minimum) their mobile experience. It would be just like what iTunes did to Windows for content.

    • Jim

      Reminds me of the Kin. What ever happened to that device?

  • berult

    The enemy of my enemy …, kindred spirits coalesce, poison pill, Trojan Horse: all variations on the theme of "laying the ground work for phase two of Google's market assault". 

    If Google can hand over Android to the Chinese for them to dispose of as they wish, with little to no apparent strings attached, how could or would they not do likewise in other markets? Android has no future other than weighing down heavily on the market for Google's phase two to get optimal traction on the cloud centric Mobile playing field.

    While Android is being eaten alive by desperate, starving, "pants down" Mobile operators, manufacturers and other stakeholders, Google marches on to a showdown with what their geek otherworldliness suggest as being an unworthy nemesis.

    Facebook is under assault on two fast emerging fronts: Facetime's ecosystem,     
    Chrome cloud's mobile carpet bombing. It's renting time from the friendly loan-shark neighbor which happens to also be an expert in ad lib eulogy. Bad karma…  

    • kevin

      There is a difference between Facebook riding on top of Android and the carriers altering Android. Facebook has a significant social networking – cloud presence. The carriers would like to have that, but don't; instead, they have to pay others (like Microsoft w/Bing) to get some of it. So Facebook can hit Google harder where it hurts, i.e., searches and all other cloud services, including apps, are launched and used from inside of Facebook.

    • berult

      Kevin, you don't sit on a full-fledged competitor when you're ahead in the game. Sit on Google and you are de facto marginalized relative to them. Think a horseman on a wild horse. Your a(xx) makes reassuring contact sure, and Google gotcha where it counts: your beating, pulsating business heart in sync with their clouded pleasure.

      Facebook would only revert to this if they felt Facetime were a bigger short term threat than Chrome O.S.. I believe it is. Facebook, notwithstanding the many core assets and profit generators it possesses, is clearly dealing with a short hand here.

      • kevin

        Hey, I agree with you that owning the OS is still essential in the smartphone/tablet mobile wars. But it takes a lot of time to develop an OS.

        It certainly is possible that Facebook doesn't realize that. But it's more likely that Facebook is launching its social layer on top of Android to buy time; at some later time, they can still switch it out if they've built their layer right. (Apple switched out the Pixo OS for iPhone OS in the iPod touch.)

      • Marcos El Malo

        I don't think owning your own OS is what is required, although it certainly can help. What is really needed to compete is having your own platform, i.e., the OS and the eco-system. In fact, a potential competitor could use Android OS, but NOT have to use Google's accompanying apps/services, IF they have a compelling and unique eco-system of their own.

        I think Verizon is trying to do this, but they really don't have the expertise to create a compelling platform. They still must rely on Google's android apps and the marketplace.

        Facebook has already created a compelling platform/eco-system. They don't need to bundle Google's productivity apps, or really any of google's apps or services if they don't want to. They (at least more so than Verizon) don't need to rely on the Android Marketplace. They already have an army of 3rd party developers. More importantly, they already have a half billion users that are potential buyers of a FB branded phone.

  • poru

    A Facebook phone, so they can capture even more of my life and sell to advertisers? No thank you.

    Disclaimer: I've never used FB so I don't know what I'm talking about 😉 But is it possible that there will someday be a massive backlash against GOOG and FB for all the data-mining and -selling they do?

    I know Apple keeps a ton of info on me from my iTunes purchases but (and correct me if I'm wrong) FB collects much more personal data from the suck… er, users.

    • Shaun

      "A Facebook phone, so they can capture even more of my life and sell to advertisers? No thank you."

      Yet people said "Yes please" to a Google phone.

  • Social media Venn Diagram:

  • Iphoned

    Apparently Schmidt famously proclaimed not long ago that G is making $10 per user per each Android device sold. I wonder how is that possible?

    Also curiously they haven't updated the 200k/day activations number in a while… It has got to be a lot more now one would think..,

    A lot of smoke everywhere…

    • JonathanU

      I don't think he actually claimed they were making $10 per user, I think he just stated that Google's next billion dollar product would come from mobile: 1 billion users, $10 per user = $10bn. I think he just plucked the number out of the air as what Android could in theory be worth in the future. Not what it is worth now. But don't quote me on this…

    • JonathanU

      Yup, it was just a number he pulled out his back side:

    • I believe the right phrase was that he had a fantasy that G would once make $10/user. Or maybe he saw it in a dream. Or possibly it was a vision, premonition or an intuition, hunch, suspicion, or he felt it in his bones.

      This "amortization" of income is a common way to see things. Nokia thinks they can make $x per phone on top of the ASP from Ovi. Microsoft sees each Windows user as an annuity of $8/yr. or something like that. It's a nice sound bite but it is completely artificial.

    • famousringo

      As I understand it, Google does make money from (most?) Android devices because specific Google apps that come with most Android phones have to be licensed. Google Maps and whatnot.

      No idea how much that costs handset manufacturers, though. And JonathanU's link sure makes this $10 number sound like a dream for the future.

      • Iphoned

        It seems more likely that Oracle will end up making $10/android user in IP royalties…

        I am puzzled the "my activations are higher then yours" press war has gone quiet. Interestingly, Google didn't update their activations number after Jobs announced theirs a few weeks ago. Any one has any thoughts on that?

  • Tom

    Here is the real cost for verizon for adopting the free and open (to manipulation) android OS:
    ""Verizon may not accept Apple's contract terms that risk its Android franchise, which could face significant cannibalization from pent up iPhone demand on its network," Abramsky wrote. "And Apple may not want iPhone to be second banana to Android at Verizon, and may be unwilling to accept less than prime marketing, subsidy support for a Verizon iPhone."

    He continued: "This may or not ever get resolved even under LTE; the longer this takes, the more entrenched Android becomes at Verizon so the more difficult to strike a deal."

    here, we've recognized the carriers' arrogance, thinking they're more than a bit pipe, that they should be running the OS and the UI. And the apps. Now we see the real cost for this approach!

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