Update: Facebook phone? Been there, done that, and nobody cared

Summary:Facebook is generating buzz with the unveiling of Home, but it seems everyone has forgotten about the Facebook phone nobody wanted.

Facebook has unveiled the new Home environment for Android phones that looks to turn them into Facebook phones. Breaking into the mobile space has long been the dream of Facebook. Though, it's too early to tell if users will race to turn their Android phones into Facebook phones. They didn't flock to a real Facebook phone in the past as we pointed out in this article originally published in 2011.

While some have raised well-placed privacy concerns about having Facebook in your pocket, the fact is this has been done before and nobody cared. Do you remember the HTC Chacha? How about the AT&T branded version of it, the HTC Status? I didn't think so.

This was an unofficial, meaning HTC/AT&T couldn't actually call it a Facebook phone, a handset that had Facebook ingrained all the way down to the hardware layer. You could see the Facebook button right on the front of the phone, that made it a snap, er, push of a button, to share anything around you. Both AT&T and HTC made a big splash about the Status/Chacha, calling it the first Facebook phone on the AT&T network. It was positioned to change our world, and for the better. After all, sharing is good, right?

This was earlier this year [2011], and since then the Facebook phone has made no impact. No. Noise. At. All. It's as if it quietly went into hiding in the back rooms of stores. I'm sure some of them sold to customers, but I certainly haven't seen a single one in the real world.

If Facebook is really developing Buffy, or whatever it will eventually call the real Facebook phone, it is likely to receive the same reception as the "nobody owns one" Chacha. The fact is Facebook is too late to bring such a phone to market successfully, as every single Facebook user already has decent access to the service on their present phone. It doesn't matter what phone they use, Facebook is already front and center for those who consider that important.

Facebook phone? Nobody outside of the Facebook organization cares.

Addendum, April 4 at 10:48am PT: First paragraph added about the new Facebook Home.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Social Enterprise, Telcos

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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