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Facebook Bets Its Future on Mobile - Joins Hands With HTC
Facebook Bets Its Future on Mobile - Joins Hands With HTC
By: Bikram K Singh

Seeing its failure to cash in on more than half of its users, who login from their Smartphones, Facebook has initiated its plan to launch its own mobile phone by mid-2013. The social networking giant has collaborated with HTC Corp. for it, as reported by Bloomberg. Facebook wanted to release the Facebook phone by the end of this year, but the company had pushed it to the said date in order to give HTC time to work on its other products.

This new development, if finds love among mobile buyers, will help Facebook earn some bucks from the mobile platform. Facebook, which has 900 million users, more than half of which access the website from a mobile device, is losing money on the new platform. Although half of the Facebook users access the social site from mobile, the company has gained nothing from the medium. Out of $3.15 billion ad sales revenue, mobile accounts for nothing. The company had seen mobile as a possible threat for the future, and it has listed it among 35 things that could kill Facebook, as part of its S-1 filing to IPO.

The company’s stock has lost 23% since its initial public offering, which is because of the above-mentioned concern. However, as Facebook has started to look towards the medium, the future may be different. The company has also hired some ex-Apple employees to improve the Facebook app for iPhone.

“Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social,” Menlo Park, California-based Facebook said in a statement. “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”

But will this work?

If the views expressed by 42% of US consumer participated in a survey conducted by Baird Equity Research indicates anything than it appears unlikely that Facebook phone will be a hit among the users. US consumers are more open to idea of a Smartphone from Amazon than they are from Facebook; 42% of 875 participants in the Baird Equity Research’s latest U.S. consumer Smartphone survey 

The respondents indicated that they would be more interested in cell phones from Amazon than those coming from the Facebook stable.

This is only true if the general population shares the sentiment demonstrated by the respondents of the above survey. It is too early to predict the success or failure of the device, which is hush-hush stage of the product development. Let us wait for the announcement followed by the launch and we shall look into it.