A Facebook Phone? Why not? Makes sense to me

I assume most of you have already heard the rumor about the Facebook phone and their push into the mobile space over the past few weeks. Although, they have been working hard to play down on the News, but that’s what both Google and Apple told us when they were secretly working on their phones. Mobile phones are the epitome of what connects people today and have tremendous significance for modern day social networking which I am sure Facebook is fully aware of that. That’s why I have no doubt they are indeed working on the smartphone secretly.

Come to think of it, it’s an excellent idea and perfect timing for Facebook to come up with their own version of phone. Here is why?

1. A branded smartphone could be the social-networking king’s key to competing more aggressively with Apple and Google as the Internet heavyweights take turns competing, cooperating, and causing one another fits. So, it makes all the senses that Facebook taps the fast-growing U.S. mobile advertising market, in which both Apple and Google have recently made significant moves, according to eMarketer. Mobile advertising spending in the U.S. is expected to grow 42.5 percent to $593 million this year, up from $416 million in 2009 and $320 million in 2008. By 2013, the mobile ad market in the country is expected to reach an estimated $1.5 billion.

2. The mobile market is important for any company doing business on the Internet because that is where the eyeballs are. There are close to 5 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). About a billion of them will be using a device on a wireless broadband connection by the end of 2010. And that number is quickly growing.  For companies like Facebook and Google, which have based their businesses on Internet advertising, more eyeballs often translate into more money.

3. According to internal Facebook statistics, more than 150 million out of Facebook’s 500 million active members access the social network on mobile devices, and Facebook mobile applications are “deployed and promoted” by more than 200 mobile operators in 60 countries. Most promisingly, Facebook has said that these mobile users are twice as active on Facebook as nonmobile users.

4. Apple and Google are major players each with their own mobile ad networks and payment systems. And they’re not looking to share any of the spoils with Facebook. As a result, Facebook, the largest social-networking platform on the Internet, has been relegated to a developer role. And that may not be good enough for Facebook’s ambitions.

But smartphone apps alone may no longer suffice. Facebook has had trouble deeply integrating the Facebook service and features into some mobile platforms including both iPhones and Android based phones. While Research In Motion and Palm have each embraced Facebook, others such as Apple and Google have not.

5. Another factor to consider is the still-expanding Facebook Credits, the virtual currency that the company finally began to roll out last year. Credits is now the standard currency in many of the biggest and most popular games on Facebook’s developer platform, and given sunny predictions about mobile commerce, bringing Credits to mobile is a likely forthcoming step. But as with so many other Facebook projects, bringing the Credits system to Facebook’s mobile apps would be heavily limited by handset, carrier, and operating system restrictions. Launching its own mobile handset or operating system may be one strategy that the company has explored to combat these inevitable roadblocks.

So, I think the chances are we will be seeing a Facebook branded phone in the near future, and perhaps Twitter phone 🙂

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

5 Responses to A Facebook Phone? Why not? Makes sense to me

  1. Not sure why people would clamor for a Facebook phone, since Facebook apps are already available for most all smartphones. Instead, check out the Mozilla Seabird concept phone. It’s a few years out at least, but it might well be what your next phone will be like…

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/09/23/mozilla-phone/

  2. Farshid Cage says:

    You think their next move will be to go public with the company? IPO???

  3. Farshid Cage says:

    Why 2013? Is that for sure?

    • Elias Shams says:

      I have a friend whose friend is the son-in-law of guy whose brothers knows a lawyer whose son works for Facebook. So, that guy told his lawyer father, the lawyer father told his brother. The Brother guy told his-son-law and that guy told his friend. Finally that guy told my friend and my friend told me. Now I am telling all 563 fans of Awesome DC:-) crap! I feel dizzy

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