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Android Cellphones Communications Facebook Handhelds Social Networks

Facebook Said To Be Developing Phone With HTC 78

Posted by timothy
from the hey-the-weasels-said-the-words-first dept.
ProbablyJoe writes "AllThingsD is running a series of stories this week about a possible new Facebook phone, codenamed 'Buffy.' The phone is said to be in development by HTC, who collaborated with Facebook earlier this year for the Salsa and ChaCha/Status phones, which both had physical Facebook buttons, and a degree of integration with the social network. While these rumors have been going around for quite a while, the article contains some new information, and neither Facebook or HTC are denying the rumors. The phone will be based on Android, but like Amazon's Kindle Fire, will be heavily modified to integrate with Facebook, potentially using Facebook's HTML5 platform. While we're unlikely to see any official announcements or releases any time soon, Facebook are eager to compete with Google and Apple, and are likely to want a phone of their own on shelves as soon as possible."
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Facebook Said To Be Developing Phone With HTC

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  • Privacy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:14AM (#38135768) Journal

    Oh neat.

    Two of the most privacy-destroying forces joined together!

  • by Georules (655379) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:21AM (#38135866)

    With Buffy, though, the integration will go much deeper, bringing friends and social activities deep into the mobile interface.

    Is this supposed to be a sexual joke or is this article just terribly written?

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:23AM (#38135900)
    I'm looking forward to having a private conversation with my doctor or lawyer posted into all my friends voicemail boxes due to an unannounced "improvement" in the phone's security profiles.
  • Skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macwhizkid (864124) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:30AM (#38135986)

    I just don't see this working out for well for Facebook. History is littered with examples of successful software companies that thought their brilliance extended to hardware. It almost never works out; they inevitably rediscover not only that hardware is an order of magnitude more challenging to get to market than software, but customers are much less forgiving about flaws and bugs when they can't be fixed with a simple update.

    But in this case especially, I don't understand what kind of core assets Facebook can leverage on their own device that they're not getting elsewhere. With Google at least it made sense that they didn't want their search platform ignored amidst a sea of apps (though in many ways the world is still going that way, even on Android). But what exactly can a "Facebook phone" offer that an iOS/Android device with the Facebook app can't?

    Clearly they think they have an answer to that question, or at least they're worried enough about the diluted (and deluded, for that matter) social network landscape to make themselves believe they've found one.

  • Eager to compete? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CruelKnave (1324841) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:31AM (#38136012)

    Facebook are eager to compete with Google

    I wouldn't have thought that releasing an Android phone counts as competing with Google. It may be heavily modified for Facebook usage, but somewhere along the line, Google will still be making money from it, yes?.

  • Re:Privacy! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:33AM (#38136042) Homepage

    Two of the most privacy-destroying forces joined together!

    Yup, you'll be constantly prompted to enter your email address and password so it can find people to put into your contact book. At least, until it deems you have enough contacts ... yeah, like I'm giving you my password.

    I'm sorry, but I don't trust Facebook with factual information about me ... I'm sure as not going to trust them with my telephone information or a password to another system.

    However, I bet there's going to be a market for this.

  • Re:Skeptical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by schlesinm (934723) on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:38AM (#38136090) Homepage

    I just don't see this working out for well for Facebook. History is littered with examples of successful software companies that thought their brilliance extended to hardware. It almost never works out; they inevitably rediscover not only that hardware is an order of magnitude more challenging to get to market than software, but customers are much less forgiving about flaws and bugs when they can't be fixed with a simple update.

    It's not just software to hardware transition that is hard, but web app to consumer device. Right now, Facebook controls all updates and can make all changes completely under their control. With a Facebook phone, any update will need to go through the phone manufacturer and the carrier to get it out. And we have seen how hard it is for Google to get phones up to the latest release.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 22, 2011 @11:51AM (#38136282)

    I think part of it is a defense mechanism from facebook. Google will potentially heavily integrate google+ with android. Given how mobile is becoming so popular with consumer, facebook wants to make sure they do not get caught flat footed in the near future.

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