The War Has Begun: Facebook vs Android
Sep 20, 2010 11:45 AM –
Sources have been reporting that Facebook is not only building a platform but is also building a phone, according to TechCrunch. The interesting part is that Facebook is supposedly building it’s mobile phone and new OS based off of Android! Not much ground has been made as to what Facebook has planned for this project. This leaves a lot in question as to the probablity for success if Facebook developed their own device/OS and how it would affect the smartphone market.
Here’s some things to ponder on when reviewing this information:
- When Facebook originally started in February of 2004, it was merely a social networking site for college students. As of July 21st, 2010 Mark Zuckerberg reported that Facebook has grown to 500 million users. Growth is definitely there but how much further will it continue at the current rate?
- Despite the controversary over privacy with Facebook, it still has maintained a large user base with many developers creating applications and implementing Facebook throughout the web. Will a Facebook phone make users feel more safe about their privacy?
- Facebook is available on most smartphone platforms so reaching an audience and developing a demand for their product isn’t much of an issue. Why choose a Facebook phone when I already have it available on (Android, iPhone, Blackberry)?
- Facebook implemented a new feature recently called “Places” that integrates the use of your phone’s GPS to share your location with other users. This supports Facebook’s desire to integrate itself more and more into your mobile device beyond your contacts and calendar. How much more benefit would a Facebook phone have over the already heavily integrated Facebook apps available for smartphones?
TechCrunch also reports the Joe Hewitt is amongst the developers that are secretly working on this project. This is quite a surprise considering last month he tweeted quite a bit about Android:
- “Android tools are horrendous, OS is hideous, but the absence of big brother telling me what to do gives it a slight edge” http://ow.ly/2GQir
- “The more I work with Android the more it reminds me of Windows” http://ow.ly/2GPP7
- “After all those years of hype, AMOLED screens suck. What’s with the gradient banding?!” http://ow.ly/2GPRi
- “Once a day or so it hits me that I am writing Java, and I cry a little.” http://ow.ly/2GPTn
- In response to this tweet by TheSteamer “I get to see a Droid X tomorrow. Is it that good? You going to give up the iPhone for it?” Hewitt responds with “@TheSteamer it’s not THAT good. Stick with your iPhone.”
But then Hewitt continues in his tweets to confuse others of his opinion:
- “Got to play with a Droid X and was surprised how much I liked the larger screen. Might get one when it gets Froyo update.” http://ow.ly/2GQTM
Of course, one Facebook developer doesn’t mean that the entire team feels that way. This is the opinion of one developer that seems to catch the attention of the media quite often. You could take this type of feedback multiple ways. My question to the Android community is this: Do you think that a Facebook platform based from Android would appeal to users? Would a Facebook device be successful in the already saturated smartphone market? If Facebook were to build a device, would you buy one or would you stick with Android?