In a move predestined to backfire or possibly become Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s biggest failure to date, the Menlo Park company sent out media invites today for this Thursday April 4th. The attendees will be treated to “Come See Our New Home On Android.” Unlike the Nokia microwave oven seen here, that is clearly an April Fool’s Day ruse, I can’t help but think that Facebook will rue the day that they felt the need to once again make a foray into the phone market. Remember the ChaCha and Salsa phones? Don’t worry few people do after Facebook discontinued them after a mere two months.
The phone is purported to be a collaboration with HTC Corp (TPE:2498) that will give users a 4.3-inch screen, 5 MP rear camera and 1.6 MP front camera for video calls, and 16 GB of storage. Hardly the new Galaxy phone from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930).
It is, of course, possibly not a phone at all this “New Home on Facebook.” Mark Zuckerberg stated just two short months ago,”People keep on asking if we’re going to build a phone,” said Zuckerberg. “We’re not going to build a phone.” Mind you, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) saw over $305 million dollars in mobile ad sales in the final quarter of 2012. A massive number given the number was hovering around $0 million just last May. Numbers like this can make a declarative statement like Mr. Zuckerberg’s, well, less declarative.
Who is the market for this phone? As both an Android and iPhone user, I already have strong connectivity with the existing apps for both operating systems. Is Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) expecting users to essentially “like” a new revenue stream that is housed in an inferior product. Who wants more ads hurled at them by Facebook? So where is the market? Business people? Hardly, in fact given Facebook’s inherent time-wasting capabilities its actually counter-intuitive. Kids? There is evidence to suggest that kids are turning away from Facebook, and I might add, don’t have jobs.
It’s easy to see the myriad benefits that Google reaps from Android, for that matter it’s easy to see Amazon’s Android benefits. I don’t see Facebook’s. They need to plug users into something users want and that will also make money for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). That will be a hell of a trick.