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Facebook seeks Samsung's help in building smartphone

News by Luke Jones on Wednesday October 15, 2014.

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The HTC First was a massive fail
The HTC First was a massive fail

The idea of a Facebook smartphone has been talked about for years, with the social network a prime candidate to breakaway into the mobile space. Much of Facebook's revenue and traffic comes from mobile so given its users a dedicated device seems like a good idea on the surface. Despite a few bumps in the road it seems like Facebook has not abandoned the idea entirely and is planning on hooking up with the biggest name in the industry to get the device right... Samsung.

Previous Facebook explorations into hardware have been catastrophic. The HTC First was for all intents and purposes a Facebook device that came with the company's then new Facebook Home Android skin that turned the Android interface into a portal to Facebook. It seems that while a great many are obsessed with Facebook, not many people at all want it to be front and center of their device and to essentially control the Android experience.

Needless to say Facebook Home was a huge disaster for the company and sunk without a trace, and I confess I am not even sure if it is still available. As for the HTC First, that was a total failure from day one and disappeared, a disaster that makes Amazon's Fire Phone look like a success story. Indeed, the Fire Phone is a good example as to why Facebook would be wise to end its hardware ambitions. That handset launched this year and was very good, but consumers have simply ignored it and most saw it as a mere gateway to Amazon's services.

It seems while consumers use services such as Amazon and Facebook constantly, they do not want to feel that they are being force fed them. How any Facebook smartphone would overcome this is tough to imagine, and in fact I don?t think any device could. However, the social network is reportedly seeking Samsung's help in driving its phone to the masses, and according to Korean based reports, FB CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently met with Samsung execs to discuss making a Facebook smartphone.

Of course, no one does driving unwanted and not needed devices to the masses as well as Samsung, so teaming with the company would be wise for Facebook. However, there is that inescapable feeling that no matter what the Facebook phone is, or indeed does, it is doomed to be a failure. Do you agree, or do you see a way in which Facebook could be implemented as the core feature on a device without ruining the overall software experience?

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About the author

Luke Jones
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at degree level before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news, as well as overseeing the site's content and direction.

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