Facebook Tried To Pull An Apple – And Flopped

Facebook EmployeesFacebook Employees

Photo: Jakob Steinschaden

About a year and a half ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hand-picked a team of engineers, stuck them in a separate building, and put them in charge of designing and building a Facebook Phone, Liz Gannes and Ina Fried of All Things D report. Like an Apple iPhone or a RIM BlackBerry, this phone would have had its hardware and software designed end-to-end by a single company – Facebook.

The ambitious project died for two reasons:

  • Cost. Gannes and Fried report: “the project quickly spiraled out of Facebook’s expertise and into budgets that were impossible without an IPO or perhaps a billion-dollar fundraising.”
  • Jealousy and political in-fighting. ATD reports: “This was an exclusive and hand-picked group, which generated awkwardness within Facebook’s flat organisation. That’s because Facebook has historically only ever made one product — its social platform. To have a secret team operating out of a separate building drew a lot of interest and also jealousy from other employees, multiple sources said.”

These days, Facebook is working on a phone that will be built by HTC and run software based on Google’s mobile operating system, Android.

For more details, read All Thing D’s excellent report >>

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.

Tagged In

facebook sai-us