The largest social network in the world today is reported to be partnering with Taiwanese phone maker HTC to release the first version of the rumored Facebook smartphone in mid-2013, Bloomberg reported Thursday, July 26th, citing sources with “knowledge of the matter.” The devices are expected to come with modified operating system which is reportedly assembled by a team of programmers who have worked with Apple Inc. before.
The will to enter the mobile market was said to be reinforced by the fact that more than half of Facebook’s 900 million users access the social network using mobile devices. The rumors of Facebook smartphone started to take into substance earlier this year when more bloggers published stories citing unnamed industry sources.
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg would use the proprietary company smartphone with deeper social integration and features to attract more marketers and advertisers and at the same time assuage bad speculations and reports revolving around company’s shares. Zuckerberg is trying to become the pioneer in mobile ads. Considering the trend in internet use today, it seems like other advertising companies would also be drifted into the same current in not so distant future.
Analysts believe that social and internet usage is shifting to mobile simply because people carry their smartphones with them most of the times and that they can get connected anytime, anywhere. Facebook’s plan is to release a device that possess an ultimate social experience and the company can start putting ads onto the platform.
With bigger plans to capture the mobile advertising market, Facebook knew better than to hire amateurs in the mobile industry. Consequently, the company sought the services of former Apple staff like Chris Tremblay and Tim Omernick, who are working on the device’s software; Greg Novick, who has a great contribution in developing Facebook phone’s touch-screen UI; and Scott Goodson, who is tasked to develope an application for stock market. Also, only a few have known that Facebook also purchased Push Pop Press, a digital publishing application co-founded by former Apple employees Kimon Tsinteris and Mike Matas.
Basically, the company is on a collision course with other big companies which are also gearing towards mobile advertising as well as with other smartphone manufacturers. In the near future, we might be seeing Facebook and Apple battle in court over patents.
Facebook and HTC intended to release the handset later this year but the date was reportedly pushed back to give HTC more time to work on other devices and previous engagements.