Facebook's Android play could be boon for HTC

Facebook's Android play could be boon for HTC

Summary: Should HTC be Facebook's hardware partner for a social phone the smartphone maker could get a revenue boost and more scale to compete with Samsung.


HTC is an underdog in the Android landscape, has to battle Samsung's scale and Apple's knack for design. It's a tall order that could be made a bit easier with the help of Facebook.

According to a Facebook invitation, the company will outline its new home on Android April 4.



Reports from TechCrunch and a few others are betting that Facebook's Android overlay would go along with HTC hardware. If these reports play out, HTC would likely see unit volume pick up and perhaps even have a hit on its hands.

A Facebook phone business model could look like Google's Nexus program. Facebook would embed natively social features on a device's home screen and hardware makers would line up as a partner.

For HTC, there's not much to lose. The company needs to make a few big bets to juice revenue growth.


Topics: Android, HTC, Smartphones, Social Enterprise

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  • Why would I want a Facebook phone?

    What will it do better than my iPhone or someone else's Android?

    It really makes no sense.
    • It'll go on Facebook better

      Trust me, there's a market for that whether or not you or I are a part of that market.
      Michael Kelly
      • Maybe, but is that market lucrative?

        No one is going to pay a premium for a Facebook phone, at least nothing like iPhone, Nexus, Galaxy S premiums. So the phone will either be low-grade or a loss leader. Unless Facebook is making some kind of profit sharing deal with HTC, the only one who's going to see money on the back-end of this is Facebook, and do they have the cash to underwrite big phone production and marketing? More importantly, would they want to spend it on this? Finally, I don't see Carriers putting any effort into this because there's no upside for them. Facebook gets all the data and ad revenue and you're just the dumb pipes and a retailer, and possibly not even that.

        We'll know more next week, but I smell a money-pit.
  • What's facebook?

    from 3 years from now
  • Oops

    There goes another Google mobile search segment .... Amazon ... then Facebook ... Who could be next?
    Steve Nagel
    • LOL

      LOL, if you think the Facebook phone isn't going to be an Android phone with full Google Apps integration, then you'll love this bridge I've got for sale.

      I can't imagine a phone more destined to fail than one with no access to the Android market. My suspicion is that it will be an Android phone with a couple of extra tweaks for better Facebook integration, that's all. And, oh yeah, the Facebook logo on the back.
      • Don't forget tracking

        If you were facebook, why would you go into competitive hardware markets? High investments and (comparatively) high risks? To make £50-100 on each phone you sell? Sure if you sell 10's of millions... Increase brand exposure? You are facebook.. People know who you are.

        Increase in user data collection? Ooo now that does seem like a good idea... Imagine if everyone had a facebook phone? All interpersonal communication could be through friendly old facebook. From emails to message to calls... And it'd all be free... Well you'd only pay for data. So the user gets a cheap device that saves money every month and facebook get a massive explosion in user data... Where's the harm?
    • seriously?

      Facebook has been exclusive Bing search forever!

      Also, they tried this before and it was a horrible failure for HTC.
  • http://facebookphonelab.tumblr.com/

    some wenfinding maybe there is something up to it
  • Not bad

    Well it's not a bad move for either Facebook or Htc. Tech business must go on.
    But why would I need a social phone?
  • Nah

    How about Facebook is swiftly becoming a passing trend.
  • If at first you don't succeed...

    Three thoughts...

    1.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTC_ChaCha

    The company already tried a phone with tighter-than-average Facebook integration. (sarcasm) it clearly sold in droves (/sarcasm).

    2.) It's going to have to be Facebook + Instagram + Pinterest if it wants to be an actual selling feature.

    3.) If HTC took more modern hardware and put it into a slider phone with a QWERTY keyboard like the Touch Pro2, I'd buy it tomorrow. Similarly, there's a market for super-duper battery life, a Nexus clone that gets updated very frequently and is bloatware free. If HTC tried filling niches that the iPhone and Galaxy S3/S4 don't fill, they could earn their place back easily.

  • HTC...

    HTC... messed up shortly after the G1. How you might ask they never made the g series the flag ship phones after the g1 .... big mistake...... second mistake.... dont make windows products . third if you make a g2 make a g2 not crappy versions of what it is suppose to be. You would have been samsung now a days. You decided to run from android so to speak and it hurt you now you have to take money from a bad IPO that clears 3 billion in revenue but is 5o times that according to our broken stock market
  • If they do it's a bad diea and customers will leave.

    Yeah I really like HTC and htc sense but if they match up with Facebook then Ill be done with them. One of the first things I do with my HTC phones is clean up any crappy social network crap like facebook or twitter. Get rooted and pull all that crapware off the phone and make it much more secure. If Htc does this they better make sure that it is user removable without needing to root or hack up the rom as facebook is a dying cause and a huge security issue.Bad move