Facebook holding Android event on April 4

Facebook holding Android event on April 4

Facebook is holding another mobile-centric event, this time seemingly specifically for Google's Android operating system. Invitations for the April 4 -- not April 1! -- event went out earlier today:

Come see our new home on Android.

This, of course, has resulted in everything from yet more rumors and speculation about a Facebook phone like the supposed HTC Myst, to rumors and speculation of deeper integration, to rumors and speculation of next generation Facebook apps, to... you get the idea.

Personally, I'd love to see HTC get some more Facebook money. They did great work as an ODM in the past, and, frankly, anything to help keep them solvent and in the race would be great. Facebook is one of the very few companies on earth that could potentially launch a new, even Amazon-style forked, successful mobile operating system at this point. I've long said they'd be stupid not to have at least considered it and worked on it in the labs. Whether they ever choose to pull the trigger on it or not is another thing. They have immense mobile talent at their disposal, and that talent could also just as easily continue to work on great apps and integration for every platform.

Has anything changed in the last few months or the last year to make Facebook decide to go all in on a phone? Or are we just going to see what's next for their existing Android strategy? Like Jerry Hildenbrand of Android Central said:

We're not sure exactly what to expect, but we know Facebook does things in grand style. We'll know more next week.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Facebook holding Android event on April 4


I'm not so sure about this being a Facebook phone. I hope they improve their Android app; it's currently terrible. I don't really care, though, as I don't use Facebook.

This is what I was thinking. My coworker has an android phone and she hates the FB app, never uses it.

I think this is most likely a new Facebook Android app or something.
Why even bother mentioning the name "Android" if they're going to release a new phone with their custom OS. Even if it's Android based, they can just give it another name.

They are going to unveil a newer version which will contain just as many if not more bugs than the current version lol.

It's amazing how many jump to conclusions. All I got out of it is an expanded android app. Home means homescreen to me or basically a widget. Thing is, my facebook usage is on the rapid decline. I only keep it installed for the very few in my family who still use it for sharing.

I've noticed the local media in my area have switched to facebook commenting on their articles. As a result, the comments have decreased dramatically to a crawl. It's about killed the idea of being able to comment or discuss issues. And rightly so. Using your facebook account in this manner is just asking for trouble.

I really don't see people actually using a 'Facebook phone' considering that most of the users are now either giving up Facebook or rarely get on it! On the other hand, if Facebook launches an incredibly brilliant, redesigned app for android, that would be great.

I'm thinking that this will be about a new and improved Facebook app for Android, not a Facebook phone. How many people are deaply entrenched in Facebook enough to want a phone designed around that service? I know that when shopping for a phone, I'm interested in a LOT more than just the ability to post to Facebook.

Facebook can keep whatever phone they are making, I don't want a device that constantly takes my personal info and sells it to advertisers.

Possibly more bad news for Google. There just might be a Facebook Fork of Android. With zero connection to Google Play, and the entire "profit layer" replaced by Facebook's "profit layer." Yet more fragmentation with no benefit to Google.

But the real killer will be the Samsung Fork. Because the Samsung Fork of Android will become the de facto standard by sheer market share. And we all know how important market share is to Android (even if it generates zero revenue for Google.)

Pretty much right on. All this making android your own is bad news for Google. And what happens when Google stomps their foot later and says "no more"? We saw what happened with iphone when Apple and Google couldn't come to new terms.

Google will eventually need to create their own Motorola "Fork." The fork with proprietary features that make the Motoroogle phone stand out. The value-add. The differentiators. Google could keep on shipping some "vanilla" release of Android for the no-hoper generic manufacturers.

Only two things could possibly stop Samsung from forking Android:

1. North Korea destroying Seoul. North Korea has the world's largest artillery arsenal. There are thousands of hardened underground artillery batteries right along the DMZ. Seoul is 35 miles away, well within range. Seoul could be flattened in less than 2 hours, long before any US B-2s or other assets could be deployed.

2. Tizen. The open-source alternative to Android, with Samsung and Intel on the technical steering committee.

I really don't have much confidence in this Facebook phone. I really don't seem them adding anything special to this phone other than keep free Facebook phone calls and then axing them from every other phone. I simply don't see it enticing people to buy it; all this will do is add more needless fragmentation.

It is interesting to see more new contenders. I hope that it won't be such a disappointment or failure. Facebook has been quite omnipresent already.