Facebook sent out a press invite for an Android-related event last night.
This led to reports that it is working with HTC to on a phone running a Facebook-ified version of Android.
This would be a surprise, since Mark Zuckerberg has said there was no way Facebook is doing a phone.
But, if you actually listen to what Zuckerberg says, the reports of a Facebook-ified Android phone from HTC make perfect sense. HTC would be making the phone, not Facebook. It would be doing a platform.
At TechCrunch Disrupt, where Zuckerberg made his most in-depth comments on a Facebook phone, he denied that Facebook is making hardware. He doesn’t deny that Facebook would do an operating system.
In fact, when it comes to Android, he says, “Android we can go deep on our own, just because there’s a lot of hooks in Android that you can use as a developer and we think we can do really interesting stuff around. So, that’s the strategy.”
That’s the strategy! Doing something with Android that bakes Facebook in more deeply.
Here’s the video. He talks about a Facebook phone at the 21:09 mark.
And, for the sake of completeness, here are Zuckerberg’s comments on a phone from Facebook’s last earnings call, via Seeking Alpha:
In terms of the new experiences, I think the big theme that we’re just going to push on mobile is, people keep on asking if we’re going to build a phone. And we’re not going to build a phone, right, because that’s – it’s not the right strategy for us to – I mean, to build one integrated system where, I mean, so let’s say we sold 10 million units, there’ll be 1% of users who cares for us, right? But the big thing for us is we’ve 1 billion people using our products and we need to make Facebook really good across all of the devices that they use and we’re going to keep on pushing to get kind of more integrated with the system, I mean, when Facebook is a product that people are spending almost near 20% of their time or more on phones using, it really should be and I think people want it to be very integrated into all of the different devices that they have, and that’s what we’re going to focus on. So, rather than just kind of building an app that’s a version of the functionality that you have today, I think making it so that we can just kind of do — go deeper and deeper, I think it’s going to be a big focus for us.
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