Anticipation is growing ahead of the event at Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) headquarters tomorrow.
Invitations went out last week inviting members of the press to “come see our new home on Android" and rumors have run rampant. Earlier this week, I reported on the actual physical specs of what some have guessed will be part of a hardware that the social media giant will release. A 5 megapixel camera and a 4.3 inch screen is what ZDNET and others guessed.
And then the tune changed - maybe the Facebook phone would just be a modified software release, with more Facebook friendly integration into Google’s Android mobile OS?
For the sake of Facebook, I hope we never see a handset made by the Palo Alto company. Facebook’s mobile ambitions should be bigger than a phone if it is to really monetize the promise that exists in that business.
I understand that there is growth to be had in an app store and mobile payments, that a phone could help Facebook capture. But it has made strides in both without a phone.
More importantly, I am not sure there is an appetite for a Facebook-branded phone. Making one at this point would come too late in the game and brand the company and concept of “Facebooking” as a fad. While I know there are some who love checking status updates so much they’ll do so within 15 minutes of waking but there are apps on most phones of your choosing to satiate your Facebook appetite.
Hardware specs and diversified features still matter, which is why reports of a 5mp HTC phone just won’t sell. The company also is facing a rising tide of distrust over privacy that you don’t want to mess with when picking up a phone to use in daily life.
Tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET we’ll get our answer to whether Facebook will friend a branded phone approach. Mark Zuckerberg has said he doesn’t like the idea of one, but that doesn’t stop us from conjecturing each time the company holds an event.
With any luck, we won’t get a phone, which will give us members of the tech press much to imagine and guess about ahead of the next event.