Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

Summary: We already knew about two episodes that caused Apple and Facebook to hate each other (iOS 4 and Ping). Now we're learning of another one: the HP TouchPad.

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The Apple-Facebook relationship is widely accepted to be a very strained one. Obviously neither of the companies have ever said so publicly, but many examples have shown as much. Recent rumors suggest there has been a turnaround in the past few months, and that we will see the fruits of it next week. In the meantime, Mashable has detailed yet another reason the two have been having bonding problems: the HP TouchPad.

About three months ago, Apple CEO (at the time) Steve Jobs reportedly visited Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to yell at him over the HP TouchPad, which only further exacerbated the connection between the two companies. Jobs was furious when he learned about the webOS Facebook app during his summer visit to Palo Alto.

Apple wanted Facebook on the iPad first, and HP wanted Facebook on TouchPad first. Zuckerberg had previously promised Jobs that its first-ever tablet app would be for the iPad.

Jobs thus believed Facebook was betraying Apple. Facebook develops its own apps for iOS and Android, while HP develops the Facebook app for webOS, RIM develops the Facebook app for BlackBerry OS, and Microsoft develops the Facebook app for Windows Phone.

Facebook was more interested in fixing its relationship with Apple than building on its ties with HP. In Fearing his company's relationship with Apple would be ruined for good, Zuckerberg vowed to get the app pulled. He failed.

Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm and then the GM of HP's webOS division, refused to halt its release. Facebook responded by restricting HP's access to its APIs.

The app ended up shipping with the production model on July 1 (screenshots leaked a few days earlier). It was essentially a hacked build that was missing significant features.

Facebook was playing both sides in order to receive maximum exposure on both platforms, according to a source close to HP. Facebook knew about HP's app for the social network, but changed its stance at the last minute to appease Apple.

HP was hoping the app would differentiate the TouchPad from other tablets on the market. Another source says HP was considering legal action, but because the TouchPad has since been discontinued, that's not going to happen.

There have been at least two previous episodes we've heard about that has resulted in hate between the two companies. The first had to do with iOS and the second had to do with Ping.

Facebook was supposed to be integrated into iOS 4. Cupertino wanted to code its own Facebook features because it lacked confidence in Palo Alto's ability to build a great app, so it built the social network into its mobile operating system. Facebook said no and negotiations broke down. Apple then went with Twitter in iOS 5.

After that, Apple debuted Ping with Facebook integration but did not get permission from the social networking giant. Facebook denied Apple from using Facebook Connect in Ping because Cupertino didn't give Palo Alto any warning about the feature, which would have cost a lot of bandwidth for Facebook. Apple was forced to remove the integration.

The relationship between the two technology giants is starting to turn around, however, possibly because they both share a mutual enemy: Google. Facebook doesn't have a mobile platform and Apple doesn't have a social network.

Rumor has it that the two will finally show off some big things next week: Facebook will finally launch its iPad app and will also reveal its HTML5 app platform, possibly at Apple's iPhone 5 event on Tuesday. It won't be long now.

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Topics: Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

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17 comments
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  • What a load of BS

    Apple probably does not care about Facebook, except by protecting customers from the most likely spyware Facebook would include in their app if Apple wasn't approving and filtering out bad apps before adding them to the App Store.
    wackoae
    • I doubt that. More likely would be that Apple is attempting

      @wackoae
      to use some of it's iOS "monopoly" power to artificialy keep itself ahead of it's competitors.

      Apple saw webOS as a real threat, and attempted to strongarm Facebook into doing what Apple wanted, not what Facebook belived best for it's users, and tablets as a whole.
      :|
      Tim Cook
      • All 12 TouchPad users?

        @Mister Spock I agree that Apple was definitely leveraging its marketshare to try to keep its platform technologically ahead of competitors' offerings.

        However, I disagree that Facebook considered the TouchPad to be "best for its customers". Compared to the iPad marketshare, the TouchPad had none, so FB had little reason to concern itself (yet) with appeasing that non-existent market. On the other hand, how many millions of iPad users have been yearning and begging for a native (iPad-sized) app since the iPad 1 debuted?

        Besides, as the story explains, FB wasn't building the TouchPad FB app -- HP was. So FB wasn't really putting many resources into it (other than probably some consulting). Of course FB was happy to let HP invest resources to make its (FB's) services even more popular -- why wouldn't it be? Ironically, it sounds like FB could have had the same sort of deal with Apple, but squashed it over _bandwidth_(!?) concerns. Stupid.

        Oh well. If this isn't all moot already because of the TouchPad's untimely demise (and I think it's a shame -- I'd love to have one), tomorrow's expected announcement of the native FB app for iPad will certainly make it moot.
        jscott69
  • RE: Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

    ====( http://ygn.me/zuq9S )=====
    ksldie
  • RE: Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

    Kind of confirms my theory about the Zchmuck. Little control freak thinks he can control what other companies' developers do.
    bhartman36
    • Not for nothing...

      @bhartman36 <br><br>but, um, what about Steve Jobs as well? <br><br>Did you miss:<br>"<i>Steve Jobs reportedly visited Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to yell at him over the HP TouchPad, which only further exacerbated the connection between the two companies. Jobs was furious when he learned about the webOS Facebook app during his summer visit to Palo Alto.</i>"

      And, in case you aren't aware, Steve Jobs likes to play control freak on a [i]few[/i] more things than just a Facebook app.
      UrNotPayingAttention
      • RE: Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

        @chmod 777

        I'm certainly not saying that Jobs isn't a control freak. But Jobs wasn't in a position to *do* anything about this. All Jobs could do was get angry. It was Zuckerberg who actually had the gall to go to HP and try to coerce them into pulling the app. He's probably not worse than Jobs, but he's certainly no better.
        bhartman36
      • Facebook promised to Jobs that FB application will be first on iPad, so ...

        @chmod 777: ... <b>this case has nothing to do with Jobs being "control freak"</b>. Jobs only tried to make Zuckerberg keeping his promise -- and as history show it is sometimes very hard to do, given Zuckerberg's "business ethics" or rather the lack of it.
        DDERSSS
  • Nice change of (rumored) facts there.

    Ok so how does this bit from the original rumor:

    <em>Roughly three months ago, Steve Jobs ??? then the Apple CEO ??? paid a visit to Facebook to discuss a Facebook for iPad application with CEO Mark Zuckerberg</em>

    become this in your version:

    <em>About three months ago, Apple CEO (at the time) Steve Jobs reportedly visited Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to yell at him over the HP TouchPad,</em>

    This is a significant "change" of the rumored facts. Jobs visted Zuckerberg to discuss the iPad app and then found out that HP was releasing a Facebook app. In order for a 3rd party to be able to do such a thing on a large scale, it would need the permission, and possibly even help/collaboration from Facebook itself (ie, see the Ping issues). Basically, Zuckerberg promised Jobs that an official Facebook app would be released for the iPad first, yet had also given HP permission to release one <em>earlier</em> for their device.

    Facts. I guess even when a rumor, they some how need to be adjusted to make Apple/Jobs look bad or worse, eh ?
    tk_77
    • I liked also &quot;changed its stance at the last minute to appease Apple&quot; ...

      @tk_77: Emil Protalinski writes with the straight face it as unquestionable statement even though he knows Jobs and Zuckerberg had the agreement, and FB changed its stance not when it declined WebOS FC last minute, but when it decided to even start to move in this into WebOS while being under agreement with Jobs.
      DDERSSS
  • Jobs is such a little cry baby

    I have absolutely no respect for the "man".
    toddybottom
    • Can you read? Jobs only tried make Zuckerberg comply to his own obligations

      @toddybottom: and he certainly was not "crying", but (speculatively) yelling at Zuckerberg.
      DDERSSS
  • RE: Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

    LMAO@ fighting over integrating the crap directly into the OS. If Apple understood anything they'd have built the OS and its APIs in such a way that anyone building a third party app can deeply integrate it into the OS. Then you don't have to run around begging for these deals If Facebook wasn't in a war with Google the Android FB app would be light years ahead. Even still the contact integration is great. You also have the problem of iOS devs masquerading as Android devs without truly learning what they could do with Android. They just port over something from iOS feature for feature with the same layout and wonder why Android users say their app sucks.
    storm14k
  • RE: Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

    >>>Apple wanted Facebook on the iPad first, and HP wanted Facebook on TouchPad first

    Actually, I don't get how could they (Apple and HP) want to be "the first" to have a Facebook app for their tablets if the Facebook app for BlackBerry Playbook already exists since May 2011: http://press.rim.com/release.jsp?id=4998 :D
    Mezomish
  • RE: Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

    It is a greater disappointment to me that so many FB users seem either ignorant of, or do not care at all about, the control that goes on - but simply put their (undeserved) trust in a "service" with ethics that have been demonstrated time and again to be questionable. And, why, oh why should we get all spun up over an article that freely admits up front it dwells firmly within the rumor camp?
    Willnott
  • RE: Apple-Facebook relationship almost ended over HP TouchPad (rumor)

    Sounds about right. Zuckerberg is the new Steve Jobs in training!
    MSFTWorshipper
  • What a laugh!

    "Jobs thus believed Facebook was betraying Apple".

    The list of people Jobs *didn't* think was betraying him was about three lines long.
    ALISON SMOCK