I really just don't understand this style of editorializing. Who cares what happened in the past? Particularly in the mobile market, things change fast. We watched BlackBerry tumble from a dominant position to near oblivion in a very short time. We watched Android go from nothing to top dog in a very short time as well. We don't even know what it IS yet, but certainly we can say that "it is unlikely that... [xyz] will actually gain traction." Really???
While there is about a billion of registered users at Facebook and many of them use the social network pretty often, they still lack devices that would make their lives a little easier. According to a media report, this week Facebook and HTC intend to showcase a smartphone which Google Android operating system has user interface with certain optimizations for the social network.
The smartphone will be made by HTC and will likely sustain the brand-name in order to be sold by HTC’s traditional channel partners. Thanks to HTC’s abilities to customize user interface of Google Android operating system, the smartphone will feature one of such customization that will be specifically tailored to usage of Facebook social network, according to the New York Times.
While Facebook did not comment on the information, it admitted that it plans to make a “significant mobile-focused announcement” this Thursday. Moreover, select members of the press received invitations from Facebook “to come see our new home on Android”.
Keeping in mind that usage of Facebook usage on mobile applications is growing, it is in the company’s best interests to not only stimulate usage of mobile apps for Apple iOS and Google Android, but also to try to make its own smartphone tailored for Facebook. The actual effect of such a smartphone will depend how well it will be optimized and how widely it will be available.
“Unless the phone is in front of the consumers in stores, it’s hard to see how it will gain traction,” said Chetan Sharma, an independent telecommunications analyst.
Keeping in mind that HTC has been losing market share to Apple, Samsung and even Sony recently, it is unlikely that its Facebook-centered smartphone will actually gain traction.