Saturday, June 02, 2012
What if the Facebook Phone... Isn't a Phone
You'll find lots of explanations about why it would be a bad idea for Facebook to develop and market its own cellular phones. And it's hard to argue with that. But what if Facebook has a different plan in mind? An Amazon-style plan, forking Android, pushing its own app store to the forefront, then cutting deals with cellular phone manufacturers to use Facebook's flavor of Android instead of Google's version on their already-compatible hardware? The change could be made pretty much invisible to the average consumer, but with Facebook driving traffic through its own browser, pushing out more of its own display ads, baking in new features like its camera and perhaps instant discounts, "buy with Facebook" allowing you to use your phone as a charge card, and the like?
If Google ever gets tired of carrying the weight of its competitors and changes the way it licenses Android, Amazon and Facebook will still have its latest edition of Android as a foundation for their own cellular operating systems.