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The fPhone

Ali - September 25, 2010 - 0 comments

Back in 2007 when Facebook was becoming a global phenomena, my first impression as a user was a normal pessimism at first that left me with just an account to reserve my name and no actual use of the service.

As an expatriate who lived at least 25% of my life out of my hometown Tabriz, I found myself toward using Facebook more seriously to connect with my old friends, coworkers and family I left behind.

It came to a point that Facebook, like for many people, became a part of my daily ritual along with checking emails, reading news, tweeting, etc. I started sharing photos and videos, commenting on people’s post and stuff that my mom does when she uses her PC. As a matter of fact, she, being a physician became a PC user, merely to be able to connect to family overseas.

Although I always had this voice in the back of my head to think twice before posting stuff, I sort of relied on the yet to be perfected privacy features of Facebook to keep my information safe from the prying eyes. Now that we all know that the great Mr. Zuckerberg doesn’t believe in privacy as much as the rest of the world does, perhaps we are too involved to just close down our accounts the next morning in cold blood, knowing the fact that Facebook actually owns what lies in their databases.

The phone that had a blue “f” on it

As usual it started with the rumours and continued with Facebook denying it almost immediately that they are working on building a mobile phone, and  there were other sources confirming the news (Google it to see the frenzy). We won’t know for sure until Facebook officially confirms it, but it will keep everybody busy speculating for some time.

The idea of Facebook making a phone (well, actually rebranding an Android phone of some sort) came unappealing to me at first and I was grumbling about who needs another phone and from a non-phone company? Remember NexusOne? Not the best project Google rolled out.

But after thinking twice about it I thought it is not a bad thing after all. It can heat up the competition if done properly and it might make mobile phones more social, if it is not social enough already. Giving Facebook’s financial resources and a 500 million and counting user-base they have the ability to market it properly having another contender in the market is always a good thing for the consumer.

On the other hand, the fact that if I would be comfortable having my contacts, my phone log, and my whereabouts stored on a phone that Mr. privacy-is-not-in-my-vocabulary is selling, is another story.

If these rumours are true and Facebook is really working on a Facebook phone, I speculate they will start, or most probably, buy a voice/video company to skip Skype or Google. Such device will incorporate Facebook apps, games, ads, etc. and maybe comes with a Facebook like UI. A full-fledged mobile portal to Facebook. Otherwise why would they bother making a phone that only comes with a Facebook app preinstalled?

For now we can just speculate and have fun imagining the uncertain future. But Facebook, if they are really into building the fPhone (or facePhone) they must come up with a good weapon against Apple, BlackBerry and others.

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