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Zuckerberg: Facebook Building a Phone Wouldn't Make Sense

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

Zuckerberg denies rumors that Facebook's building a phone (but conveniently doesn't mention the possibility of a third party doing the building).

We've been hearing talk of a Facebook-branded phone for months. Most recently, Bloomberg cited 'people with knowledge of the matter' that said Facebook and HTC were preparing to launch a phone in mid-2013. However, today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has shot down reports of a Facebook smartphone, claiming it wouldn't make any sense for the social network to produce a phone.

SlashGear reports that Zuckerberg's remarks were made during an earnings call yesterday. The 28-year-old responded to questions about the possibility of Facebook building their own phone with the following statement:

"There are lots of things that you can build in other operating systems as well that aren't really building out a whole phone, which I think really wouldn't make much sense for us to do," Zuckerberg said. "We want to support a development ecosystem where other apps can build on top of Facebook."

The fact that Zuckerberg referenced supporting developers indicates that the company is more interested in working with developers on applications built for Facebook. However, the wording of Zuckerberg's statement also leaves the company a bit of wiggle room if it is (or should it ever) decide to produce its own phone. You see, Zuckerberg has said it wouldn't make sense for Facebook to build a phone, but he hasn't said anything about partnering with a third party to build a phone, has he?

HTC refused to comment on this week's rumor that the two companies were working together on a phone. Facebook's statement on the matter revealed the companies commitment to work with 'the entire mobile industry' on its mobile strategy.

"Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social," Facebook said in a statement to Bloomberg. "We're working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world."

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , July 27, 2012 7:42 PM
    of course that doesn't make any sense. faceboook couldn't even make a better website. a phone would be too much for them.
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , July 27, 2012 7:42 PM
    of course that doesn't make any sense. faceboook couldn't even make a better website. a phone would be too much for them.
  • 4 Hide
    math1337 , July 27, 2012 8:05 PM
    What can a facebook phone do that a normal phone with facebook can't? Android is so open that there is no reason for FB to go into the complexities of making a facebook phone.
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , July 27, 2012 8:07 PM
    if building a phone doesn't make sense then why in the hell can't I remove the stupid facebook app from my phone?....i guess they need a proprietary phone after all...such hypocrisy
  • -3 Hide
    nebun , July 27, 2012 8:07 PM
    math1337What can a facebook phone do that a normal phone with facebook can't? Android is so open that there is no reason for FB to go into the complexities of making a facebook phone.

    android isn't really all that open...if it was then we could removed all the crap we don't need in the same way we don on computers
  • 4 Hide
    Chainzsaw , July 27, 2012 8:13 PM
    IMO facebook will be all downhill from now. I'm not trying to say it's going to completely fail, but I think eventually it will just become another Yahoo (where it used to be massively popular, and now they are just floundering/getting by).

    Even though they have a lot of users, people are starting to turn their attention to other things now. Not to mention their IPO fiasco didn't really help their image.

    Even though Toms has a facebook icon on their website (as does nearly every website these days it seems), I don't bother using FB anymore. I would rather see my friends face to face then chat/post on some website where all the data can be seen if you don't have proper security settings set.
  • 0 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , July 27, 2012 8:18 PM
    fgs76453of course that doesn't make any sense. faceboook couldn't even make a better website. a phone would be too much for them.

    maybe they can make a toy phone
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , July 27, 2012 8:42 PM
    Yeah, I never understood all these rumors of a "Facebook phone." It's a big leap to go from FB working with engineers that have worked on/within phones to "ZOMG, FB is making a phone!!!"
  • 0 Hide
    alexthager , July 27, 2012 9:35 PM
    I find this rumor a little odd. Sure Garmin made a phone, but why a social network? Since Facebook has been working with Apple in adding true integration, what's the point for creating a separate device? Speculating that someone else may manufacture and design a "Facebook Phone" seems a little farfetched.
  • 0 Hide
    cookoy , July 27, 2012 9:55 PM
    i can understand phones being classified by the OS they run, like Android, Windows, Symbian, iOS. But not by an application.
  • 0 Hide
    Camikazi , July 27, 2012 10:05 PM
    nebunandroid isn't really all that open...if it was then we could removed all the crap we don't need in the same way we don on computers

    Blame the carriers for that, they are the ones who insist on making those apps non-removable.
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , July 27, 2012 10:07 PM
    A Facebook Phone makes just about as good of sense as Google+.
  • 0 Hide
    superp , July 28, 2012 1:16 AM
    But isn't that something a company like facebook at this size and stage would all eventually do ... ... "things that don't make any sense" ?
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , July 28, 2012 2:06 AM
    CamikaziBlame the carriers for that, they are the ones who insist on making those apps non-removable.

    lol...let's sue them
  • 1 Hide
    xtc28 , July 28, 2012 4:29 AM
    Just root it and get rod of whatever you want to.
  • 0 Hide
    spectrewind , July 28, 2012 4:54 AM
    nebunandroid isn't really all that open...if it was then we could removed all the crap we don't need in the same way we don on computers


    Generic Linux Android OS, by OHA, is pretty open. The vendors, such as VZ & ATT get a hold of it and basically make a "fork" of the OS that you are seeing on a phone. That fork is locked down, while gaining root access will alleviate that somewhat.
  • 0 Hide
    olaf , July 28, 2012 10:22 AM
    nebunandroid isn't really all that open...if it was then we could removed all the crap we don't need in the same way we don on computers

    nebunif building a phone doesn't make sense then why in the hell can't I remove the stupid facebook app from my phone?....i guess they need a proprietary phone after all...such hypocrisy


    just root the damn phone, or use a custom rom on it, its a friggin computer anyway that has the added feature of having a GSM part in it, compare it like running a windows pc that you don't have Administrator privileges to. If you are to backwards to figure out how to use SuperOneClick or any other vairant that is out there go to a friend or a shop that is willing to do it. Also there are a ton of Custom roms for most phones that work better then the original (Cyanogen, Oxygen, MiUi etc) find one that has the most feedback and use it, im not saying jump the boat and run ICS on a gingerbread phone that does't have a factory made ICS, no way no how you going to be totally satisfied then, but trimmed down version of the original rom works wonders most of the time.
  • 1 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , July 28, 2012 7:12 PM
    nebunandroid isn't really all that open...if it was then we could removed all the crap we don't need in the same way we don on computers


    Buy a Nexus phone, or root your existing phone. Android is open enough you can 'chose' a manufacturer and phone carrier that does not load up the phone with crap-ware.

  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , July 28, 2012 10:49 PM
    ChainzsawIMO facebook will be all downhill from now. I'm not trying to say it's going to completely fail, but I think eventually it will just become another Yahoo (where it used to be massively popular, and now they are just floundering/getting by).Even though they have a lot of users, people are starting to turn their attention to other things now. Not to mention their IPO fiasco didn't really help their image.Even though Toms has a facebook icon on their website (as does nearly every website these days it seems), I don't bother using FB anymore. I would rather see my friends face to face then chat/post on some website where all the data can be seen if you don't have proper security settings set.

    For the most part I would agree with you, but most of my friends (especially my oldest friends) tend to live very mobile life-styles (moving for jobs, schools, deployments, opportunities, for the hell of it, etc.), and FB has been an excellent tool to keep up with their lives. But yes, for my local friends, I would much rather just give them a call or text to set up a time to meet and hang out.

    Also, I think FB stated going down hill a year or so ago. The demand for another social network is so strong that I am amazed as how hard Google+ failed. When rumor of it started then it seemed like everyone I knew (myself included) were ready to jump ship and move over. Sadly, all of our families and less tech-savvy friends did not make the jump, and so we have all slowly migrated back over to FB again.
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , July 28, 2012 10:54 PM
    Is Zuckerberg smocking crack? If a popular social network where the mass majority of users reach a lowest common denominator of posting pictures of silly cats were to release a phone then a large portion of those users would switch over 'just to have it'. The phone could be absolute crap, but if it is blue with a white F on it then it would sell like hotcakes to a host of users who simply would not know any better.

    I mean, how much free publicity would they get just by people who post 'I just gotz my FB Fone, itz sweets!!! :D  :p  :D ' (sorry, but that is my best impression possible of a FB user....)
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , July 30, 2012 12:07 PM
    Why oh why would I want a Facebook phone? I am not looking to torment myself yet with a butt load of annoying game requests and Facecrack updates.