How much will a Facebook phone cost consumers?
Originally, Facebook wanted the price to be $0.
Two sources close to people who have worked on Facebook’s phone told us that executives wanted to design and build the gadget in-house and then give the thing away for free.
Facebook hoped to make the money back through advertising.
These executives also hoped to get the phones into consumers’ hands without making them sign contracts.
But then, say these source, Facebook executives realised each phone would cost $700 to make.
Facebook doesn’t have enough money to afford to build and then give away lots of $700 phones.
The idea went away. One source called it “pie-in-the-sky.” There was also talk of making the phone ad-subsidized, like how Amazon made Kindles with ads cheaper.
As for the no-contract thing, it was laughed off by carriers, including AT&T, which was code-named “Opus” inside Facebook.
Facebook declined to comment on this story.