Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may be planning a deal with Samsung to come up with a new smartphone, according to reports from The Korean Herald and The Korea Times (via 9to5Google). It seems that the social networking company has not retired its quest of launching a phone even after failing in its previous effort with HTC.
A win-win deal
According to the reports, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg met with Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jay-Yong at Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul. The purpose of the meeting was reportedly to discuss the feasibility of launching a phone. It is not clear whether Samsung and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will come together to launch a completely new device or will continue with the Facebook editions of popular smartphones.
According to Industry experts, this partnership will be beneficial to both companies, as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is looking for new streams of revenue, whereas Samsung’s smartphone business is receiving major challenges from Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Huawei. The Korean company is the largest smartphone maker in the world but posted low earnings in the third quarter, with around a 60% drop from a year earlier due to weak sales in its core smartphone business.
Failed efforts from Facebook Inc (FB) previously
There have been wild guesses over the past few years that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is working on a smartphone. Previously, the company entered into a partnership with HTC and unveiled Facebook ChaCha, with a physical Facebook button for instant posting on the social network, and the HTC First, which included the Facebook Home operating system, which was a software “layer” on top of Android.
However, none of these efforts were successful for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), leaving a gap for another phone. The partnership between Facebook and Samsung is not new, as companies are already working together. Zuckerberg’s company already acquired Oculus, the virtual reality company behind the Rift headset. Oculus and Samsung partnered earlier this year for Samsung’s GearVR headset.
Oculus played a significant role in creating the technology for the headset, along with integrating it with the Oculus ecosystem. In return, the Korean company supplied its DK2 development kits that use screens taken from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.