New rumors have been coming out in the last couple of days that Facebook is going to build their own mobile phone. That they have been headhunting Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone. During the initial interviews they are being asked specific questions that only would be asked by someone who was building a mobile phone. Like a lot of people I was confused about why Facebook a social media company would want to build a mobile phone, then I thought about the one thing that Facebook is known for and that is control. Currently, Facebook apps are limited by the platform they are on whether Android, iPhone, Rim or Windows Mobile. There are things they may want to do but they can’t because of the limitations the iOs puts on them.
Facebook on the web is built to be a walled garden, where a person could spend their whole time on line there. As an app on a mobile phone that they don’t control the walled garden has a gaping hole in it. If they build their own mobile phone, then they control the platform, the message and therefore the consumer. This would give them a captured audience they can market mobile ads too, something those who have invested in Facebook have been looking for.
The problem with this idea, is there is no indication that the consumer is calling for a Facebook phone. Facebook will have to persuade both the consumer to buy a Facebook phone and developers to develop on the Facebook platform. Developers who are already spread thin working on the iPhone, Android and the Window Mobile platform. Also do the carriers want another platform to deal with. I think most Facebook users would rather Facebook concentrate on improving the apps that already exist.