May 26, 2012

Facebook Is Building The Facebook Phone Right In Front Of Our Eyes

Jay Yarow, writing for Silicon Alley Insider:

"But, right in plain view Facebook is assembling the core applications needed for successful smartphone operating system."

Interesting conjecture by Jay.

Facebook was built around the desktop, where users will sit, sometimes for hours, noodling around on the site. Their mobile offerings for those using the service on the go, in short bursts, have been few. The Facebook app for the iPad appeared only last year, joining the iPhone app, for example.

The company has been on the move lately, though, adding Instagram and their own Facebook Photos app in the past few weeks. No doubt they're building a suite of apps.

My question is whether Facebook intends to collect their growing mobile suite on their own hardware platform. Doing so pits them against Apple's iPhone, the Android clones and Microsoft-and-partners' forthcoming Windows 8 mobile platform. I doubt there's room for four major competitors in the mobile marketplace.

My guess is that Facebook will assemble their software suite and make it operable on multiple platforms.

An iPhone becomes a "Facebook phone" when users launch one of the apps, as they do today. They'll just have more Facebook-centric apps to choose from, exposing more of Facebook's services and perhaps keeping users within that suite (and Facebook's services) rather than using other third party apps.