Would you buy the Facebook Smartphone?

by Dale Wright

When Facebook bought Instagram, many people suspected they might be on the verge of taking their mobile apps a little more seriously. It seems Facebook are doing exactly that.

First of all, let’s consider the idea of a Facebook phone. Would you buy a handset officially endorsed by Mark Zuckerberg? Sources at the company say that Facebook is looking into producing its own handsets, just like Google did in the early days of Android. Company representatives have anonymously reported that Facebook are looking at hardware and new devices, and they’ve also taken on a fleet of new staff, fuelling the rumours of a big announcement. Some of the staff used to work for Apple in developing the iPod and iPhone. If the reports are true, the Facebook phone could be on your Christmas list in 2013.
FacebookBlog Would you buy the Facebook Smartphone?

Facebook are also rumoured to be about to buy the Opera browser, a lesser-known but very capable web browser which has existed on desktop computers and mobile phones for years. Buying a web browser could help Facebook become more visible on handsets made by Google and Apple, covering all bases and giving people quick access to social networking.

Finally, you may have noticed a couple of brand new Facebook apps appear over the last few weeks. Facebook Pages is an iPhone app that allows page owners to interact with followers and fans from their smartphone, while Facebook Camera bears more than a passing resemblance to Instagram. Given that Facebook recently bought Instagram for a whopping $1 billion, it’s highly likely that they’ve borrowed a fair bit of functionality from them. Facebook Camera is a little bit different though: it places more emphasis on tagging friends, something Instagram doesn’t do. In time, we could see the two apps being merged.

It looks like Facebook are finally taking mobile seriously. After its share price dipped last week, Mark Zuckerberg sold all of his shares. It’s likely the company is now feeling the pressure to keep shareholders happy with a slew of positive announcements.

Would you swap your iPhone or Android phone for ‘the Facebook phone’?