It’s been a while since we heard about how Facebook was busy working on bringing out a whole smartphone of its own. Given how most of the activity on this popular social network comes via mobile devices, it’s not surprising that Mark Zuckerberg’s creation has decided to take the plunge into the technology space directly.
But in a world where Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile OS’s reign supreme and a bunch of others like BlackBerry and Windows Phone fight hard to occupy a distant third place, do we really need yet another smartphone that stands out so much? And as addicted as we are to Facebook, do we really need a completely dedicated Facebook smartphone? Or is an Android or iOS Facebook app more than adequate?
Facebook is trying to expand beyond being just a social network that keeps you connected with your friends. With its active push for social media in the business space, it even lets you keep connected with your favorite brands and businesses. And now with the newly introduced Graph Search, looks like Mark Zuckerberg wants everyone to depend entirely on Facebook for all their online needs.
HTC is supposedly building the first Facebook phone, but we wonder if it can hold up against stiff competition from high-end phones like the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 or even upcoming smartphones like the Apple iPhone 6. After all, unless there’s something absolutely terrific about the phone beyond just Facebook, why would tech enthusiasts shun the likes of the iPhones and Galaxy S4 to switch to it?
The phone is expected to be based on Android, but will primarily focus on the messaging and camera apps, so it could be stripped down version of the world’s most popular smartphone OS. Also, Facebook is expected to offer apps through the Amazon Store instead of letting users download apps through Google Play. This considerably reduces the variety of apps users can access through the Facebook phone.
Now, it’s still too early to comment on the tech specs comparison of the Facebook phone against the hotter phones in the market like the HTC One or the Samsung Galaxy S4. And of course, there’s no word on the pricing either. But even if the Facebook phone’s as competent and also ends up being cheaper than the current range of flagship smartphones on offer, will these incentives be enough to lead us away from Apple and Android?
Of course, only time will tell if Zuckerberg’s strategy will succeed. But even if it does succeed momentarily, what will happen when users experience Facebook fatigue – something that’s already been happening to quite a high percentage of users who have spent enough time on the social network. And how will this affect our privacy, given that this has been one of the biggest bones of contention with Facebook to begin with?