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The Facebook hardware rumour mill is in full spin again this week after reports suggest the social network is preparing its own smartphone for 2013. While there have already been numerous whispers that the company is planning to jointly develop handsets with HTC, the latest word on the matter suggests Facebook will go it alone …

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FAIL

Well jolly gee

Just who the fudge wants a mobile that spams all your mates asking them if they want a mobile that spams their mates.

Or have I missed the point?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well jolly gee

It's not too long ago that people were asking who would want a phone made by Google.

Some people still do...

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Anonymous Coward

But but but....

its just another Android handset after all..... Maybe it will run Android 6 Chocolate Mousse.

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Anonymous Coward

I need

a Facebook phone as much as I need a dose of avian flu.

It will appeal to the tweenies, 9-14 year olds who still think Facebook is cool.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Well jolly gee

Oooh, me please - I'm one of your 900,000,000 special friends who use FB every day.

Special friend. Like me. Be my special friend.

[I can't get the sound of the Inbetweeners out of my head!]

I'm sure Paris would have one. Ooh err

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Anonymous Coward

Dedicated advert delivery system

FB needs a dedicated phone, remember when it went public concerns were raised as to the lack of advertising on mobile devices, one reason the share price fell as more and more people access it by smart phone.

A dedicated advert delivery system, sweeeeeeet.............

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Trollface

Re: I need

@AC 20:26: Surely Android 6 will be called something like Kiwi Mousse Cake or something?

@AC 20:30: I could be wrong, but I was under the impression Twitter was emerging as the "cooler" option for the demographic you mention. I actually think if this takes off, it will be the older ladies playing Farmville behind it, not the kids.

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JDX
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Re: I need

Plus the hundreds of millions of teenagers and young professionals who also think it's cool.

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Too big to fail, too ludicrous to succeed

Well, they have all this money, what else are they going to do?

If I were them I would be using the money to buy something 'real' in AOL fashion. Some way of advertising that actually works. Maybe a TV network or 2? Would Rupert sell Fox? Could be branded FaceBox? (or a tie in like MSNBC).

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Silver badge

Re: Too big to fail, too ludicrous to succeed

Rup already tried that with Myspace and couldn't work out how to combine the 2.....

Twitter is the only social system that could work with tv with people tweeting about what they are watching and commenting on it.

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IT Angle

Sorry but....

"Facebook already has an OS complete with messaging, calendar, contacts and video-chat tools; it already has an app store in the works; and it now has Instagram, the photo sharing tool it valued at $1bn."

I haven't heard about a Facebook OS, could someone point me to a link about it........

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Linux

What's the betting it's Android based, like Amazons kit?

Once again the closed guys take a journey down the U bend. Still, they know best.

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Silver badge

Re: What's the betting it's Android based, like Amazons kit?

It's almost certainly going to be based on Android. The only alternative would be to partner with RIM which seems... unlikely at the least. So if they base it on Android then what they actually have is a device that is almost inherently inferior to Google's own devices. (The only way that would not be the case would be if FB took the lead in developing Android - an absurd idea).

So why would anyone buy it? They only have two options. The first is to leverage the Facebook angle on the belief that people will choose their phone because of it. This relies on two bad conditions: (a) that Facebook apps on other platforms are not improved to the point where people are happy with them. Something that both shoots Facebook in the foot and may be a lost cause as WP7 for one already has near-seamless Facebook integration (thankfully easily turned off). And bad idea (b), the belief that people care enough about Facebook to choose their phone based on it. I don't believe that people do.

The second option (equally dire), is that the cost of the phones be subsidized by Facebook to make them more financially competitive. That would rely on ad serving to the user to an unprecedented degree or borrowing heavily on the promise of later doing so. I'm not even going to go into what is wrong with this second option.

I honestly don't know which of the two options Facebook think they're pursuing here. Or if they're crazy enough to think that by hiring a handful of (even very competent) people away from their competitiors, they'll be able to produce a better Android.

Or maybe we're both wrong about Android and they're about to re-launch Sybmian ;) . Or partner with RIM and we're about to see the launch of the world's first FaceBerry. ;) But I think Android is the only realistic option and would be interested to hear different if anyone knows better.

Short Version: Don't buy Facebook shares. <$30 by the end of the month.

: subsidise the pricing

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JDX
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Joke

MS have competition on their hands...

...for lowest market share.

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g e
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Stop

Who the hell would want a Failbook phone?

It'd just sell all your phone activity & contacts to direct sales droids while asking your Gran what kind of Koala she is via £1.50 SMS.

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Stop

Only 35% of those polled trust Facebook !!!

A YouGov poll reported in the Sunday Times yesterday revealed that only 35% of those polled trust Facebook.

HTC would be well advised to consider the acquiring a long spoon before supping with the Devil. I am not sure HTC need FB, and they may well regret any ventures with them.

FB are certainty on the acquisitions trail - no doubt to boost their poor stock price since the IPO.

Ther are suggestions that FB are not only interested in smartphone hardware, but also want to acquire a browser - more particularly Opera.

Opera own FastMail, one of the best email providers, but if Opera was owned by FB, I and many pother FM users would migrate away from FM, as we would not want our date to be in the control of FB.

Mark Zuckerberg's often reported comments on January 9, 2010 that the age of privacy is over are hardly those of someone who is fit to run an email service.

Danah Boyd a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research commented on this statement, and I can't better what she said here:-

http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/arc...ooks_move.html

It is also reported that Mark Zuckerberg has views on hacking not shared by the majority.

In my view FB purchasing Opera would be a disaster for Opera users, and more particularly users of FastMail & OperaMail.

NJSS

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Facepalm

Re: Only 35% of those polled trust Facebook !!!

Well, if FB want to order 5M units, I'm sure HTC will happily supply.

Which leave branding, apps and underlying platform to Failbook to dictate, presumably with their usual incredible stupidity, based on the web UI which is truly awful.

Given that they have, truly, one of the worst search algorithms (based on the crap it calls results) ever devised by mankind I shouldn't think a phone would be any threat to HTC/Samsung/LG/SONY/Apple/etc

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Anonymous Coward

The beginning of the end?

for FB apps embedded in other phones?

You know the ones that you can't remove unless you root it? (HTC, I'm looking at you)

Seriously, FB is just a passing fad. As others (on other foums) have said, remember Bebo, MySpace, Friends Reunited etc? FB is only at the top until another app displaces it.

The USP of the FB phone will probably be that you only get 10 adverts per page rather than 20 when using the site on competing phones.

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JDX
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Re: The beginning of the end?

There have been other search engines that Google displaced. But Google is a solid company. FB may well be displaced but it's not going to happen immediately and it's not going to happen overnight. Also, none of FB's predecessors had anything like the same number of users so saying it's inevitable to be displaced as easily is not comparing like for like - search engines were quickly displacing each other and then one got big enough to firm up.

Go back further and Operating Systems were constantly in turmoil until a couple got big enough to grow firm. So FB may not be so quick to go.

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Silver badge

Re: The beginning of the end?

Yep. Facebook aren't going to vanish any time soon. But they are at risk of being transformed into something they don't want to be. Many is the site that asks you if you want to sign in with Facebook. Mobile devices seem increasingly keen to aggregate a user's different communication channels. For example on WP7, SMS, Facebook, Email can all seamlessly flow together (thankfully I can turn it off). That's very bad for Facebook because it makes them more like a private version of OpenID and Twitter all rolled into one. Their situation could become analoguous to sites that find themselves screenscraped by news and support forum aggregators. Facebook use without visiting Facebook? V. bad for Facebook's advertising revenues.

Given they are almost certainly heavily overvalued right now and a lot of investors have sunk money into them only to see shareprice drop (it's not going back up folks - get out while the loss is something you can afford), they're going to be under a lot of pressure to generate revenue and I think that could cause some quite bad long-term strategic thinking by them.

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Aren't they late to the party...

What will run under it? All the IP (Nortel, Motorolla, etc.) all bought up? FB pays for all the smartphone IP how could they do it affordably compared to a Google, MS or iPhone? Android based, with Google wanting all the Mobile Ad Money to go with all their Desktop Ad Money. They would be crazy to go Android as they would be at mercy of competitor, much like Novel Office on MS and MS screwing them every chance they had. They fork Android and risk it not running apps designed for Android, and I am sure that would piss a lot of people off.

This sounds desperate, same as their wanting to buy Opera!

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Is everyone at facebook too scared to tell the boss that while people love using the facebook website, the brand is about as cool as microsoft, maybe less. It's a crap logo, a tweeny name, and just does not have "it".

Also look at Google. They were great at search. They keep trying, failing miserably, to get into other industries. It does not work guys. Stick to advertising which is what you are good at. Facebook should do the same. What's wrong with being the #1 app on everyone's smartphone? Is that such a bad thing to aspire to?

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JDX
Gold badge

Really, IT geeks need to learn that their personal opinion is not 'common sense', it's just another personal opinion. FB is obviously cool regardless of whether you like it or not (personally I'm not fussed).

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FB will be all but dead by then. Looks like it's already clutching at straws.

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this could work.

it really depends on who they actually target. everyone assumes the tweeny segment. but what if they went for the over 40's? make it a nice easy phone to use, give a decent 5mp camera, full qwerty keyboard, and just enough cpu grunt to run facebook, and its various apps. maybe like a blackberry. it would be cheap enough that way. There isnt really any need for it to be a fully featuered smartphone.

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WTF?

USP

FB's phone will have a dedicated "like" button. That must be it.

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Big Brother

Simple model

I used to joke about a Facebook phone. Trouble is, we all knew it wasn't entirely a joke. The business model was simple. It only runs Facebook. And they give it away for free. Other than that it is business as usual. They sell all your details, habits, interactions, and interesting liaisons, to whoever will pay, mine everything they can out of your life, and push targeted adverts at you.

As a condition of use you agree that the geotracking stays on. They add a payment portal, from which they mine all the transactions details.

Oh, and as a condition of ownership, it never gets turned off, and you keep in on you all the time.

Simple really.

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Re: Simple model

why free? im sure if it was shiney enough people would want to pay

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