Would you buy a Facebook phone?

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Facebook has invited press to its Palo Alto HQ in the US on Wednesday to unveil some big mobile news, with some speculating that this might be when the social-networking company introduces the world to a Facebook-branded smartphone.

(Credit: CBSi)

At first blush this may seem like an ill-advised move in a market where renowned manufacturers, like Nokia and Sony Ericsson, are struggling to maintain brand loyalty. How could a company, albeit one as large as Facebook, hope to steal customers away from Apple, BlackBerry, Samsung and HTC? How could it succeed where others, like Google, have recently failed?

Firstly, you have to remember that accessing Facebook via smartphones is a huge business. Australian telcos have told us on several occasions that Facebook could account for up to 80 per cent of web traffic on Aussie networks, and Facebook believes it has 150 million of its members actively accessing their accounts via phones. Though some might consider Facebook an essential experience of their smartphone, the company still has to be sure it delivers a well-rounded experience.

As such, this mythical Facebook smartphone would need to run on an established platform, probably Google Android, and it would be greatly assisted if it was designed and manufactured by one of the big names in the business. It would also need a custom designed and unique Facebook experience, something you couldn't find on the wide range of phones that currently offer a rich Facebook application. In fact, this is the hardest part of the equation; what could a Facebook phone offer that you can't already achieve with a top-shelf Android device or the iPhone?

If they manage something unique, would you be tempted to give a Facebook phone a shot? Leave a comment below and tell us what would make or break a phone like this.

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SteveB posted a comment   

There are enough Facebook 'Likes' out there to sell a bucket load of phones - or perhaps 'Likes' with parents that will buy this Must Have fashion accessory for their kiddies. The rest of us Facebook users will decide based on the device working well beyond just being a Facebook dedicated portal.


JulianC posted a comment   

I personally would be very willing to try a Facebook brand phone, but if the phone was solely based on accessing the internet for Facebook and the actual phone aspect of the device were to be lacking in quality and modest sophistication, I would be greatly disappointed. I'm all for a Facebook Phone especially if the style of the phone were to be interesting instead of the plain, ever increasing in size, flat, touch screen like the iphone or any HTC phone on the market.


deconocido posted a comment   

No, there are too many phones on the market-we don't need one more.


Texrt speak posted a comment   

Bloody hell whats with this text speak. Write properly. Children are writing entire stories at primary school in text speak its so bad


sammy posted a comment   



Daniel posted a comment   

"How could it succeed where others, like Google, have recently failed?"

.. In what way has google failed through Android? It seems to be going great in recent times.


George posted a comment   

Nope. Theres's already great phones out there so why do we need a Facebook specific phone? I'm sure people use their phones for other things that are not facebook.
The phone would have to introduce some remarkable software and hardware features not seen before for it to stand out.


EricJ posted a comment   

kakeswambo@yahoo.com and lisha need to learn to spell, Jeez is this what a Facebook world is coming to :S


SimonR posted a reply   

1! If they represent the average intelligence of users that would buy a Facebook phone, it's going to have to be a very simple device to use.

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