The Problems with a Facebook Phone

Posted: June 10, 2012 in Android, Apple, Facebook, google, iOS, iphone, Microsoft, Mobile, Windows Phone

So, the rumors have begun again and I’m talking about a/the “Facebook Phone” – So, how should Facebook go about creating a new phone? I see three possibilities.

1. Base the phone on Android and be able to tap into the hundreds of thousands of Android Apps.

The problem with this scenario is that the Android market is very fragmented and now we have Playstation certifications, 600Mhz single core, dual-core and quad-core systems, 5 resolutions and many other factors, one being that Google now owns Motorola and plans to continue to develop phones and other Android products as a separate division.

2. This solution would be to leverage Android’s relationship with Amazon and it’s Kindle or Sony and it’s Playstation certification.

Could Facebook team up with either or both of these vendors and create a platform where they could share in the revenue stream and still push users towards their products and services? Gaming, Books and Social?  This could work if all three played well together, but these types of relationships often breakdown as one player starts to dominate the platform.

3. The last solution, and I think the best solution, should Facebook create their own phone, would be for them to license Windows Phone 8, leverage everything that Windows Phone 7.5 has in relation to Facebook integration as well as be able to grow it using Microsoft’s open platform.

Microsoft has a mixed history of building in 3rd party tech into their products and then after a generation or two implements their own tech and pushed aside the initial 3rd party. This was done in the past on some very basic platform specific techs such as file compression and the like.

But as far as open platforms go, Microsoft has had and continues to have the most open living platform in the history of Operating Systems, heck, before Microsoft, there were no open platforms! 😮

The new Microsoft has all the components needed to create a killer open platform for Facebook. Facebook could sell their specialized phones, with, I don’t know, qwerety keyboard? or portrait display (wider keyboard) supplement the integrated Facebook offerings with their own tie-ins for advertising and marketing, 3rd parties would have a solid platform for creating apps for both phones, x86, x64 and ARM based systems with just on API from a company that know how to develop tools so that developers can create the best apps for generations to come.

Could Facebook still support Android, iOS and HTML browsers? SURE! They could actually support them better if they have one premier product that they could focus their efforts on developing and growing and then work on implementing those same features to the other platforms as they mature.  Right now it seems like Facebook has their hands in too many platforms and too many partnerships.

They have their programmers working with teams for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows App, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, etc. They should be focusing on one platform, or two – one mobile and one desktop HTML and then allow the existing teams working with the 3rd parties to implement to the best of their platform the features found in their latest Facebook Phone and Desktop software.

The day of the having a device for music, another for video, a third for office apps, another for gaming, social networks and yet another for the desktop is over.  People want one device or one platform that works seamlessly across 2 or 3 screens  – not a bag filled with devices.

So to summarize, iOS is too closed of an environment with no hope of royalty sharing, Android is a wild west with no one company leading their future, poor developer support and fragmented market, that leave Windows, Windows provides Facebook with all the best qualities from Apple, a strong API, direction and focus on the future, Goodle has the broad user base, but brings with it a lot of competition from too many directions, too many to support and would not allow Facebook to focus on growing and introducing new features, The Android, Sony and Amazon alliance also fails because they too suffer from all the same weaknesses of Android’s open platform and then they would have to work on releasing products and R&D on the same product cycles, compromise needs and while they would have the trinity of Social, Gaming and Books, they would not be united and none of those platforms have secure app stores so corporations would be less likely to allow such a device to work on their intranets, etc.

http://www.thetechlabs.com/tech-news/facebook-branded-phone-a-possibility/

 

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