How would you like a free Facebook phone? Did you know Truphone built an app for one in 2007? How about a mobile phone signed by Mark Zuckerberg? Would you pay $1 a year for a Facebook phone? Perhaps free Groupon coupons would get your credit card out of your wallet?
Free Facebook Phone Idea Killed by Media
Every day I scan media coverage of the mobile industry. And I’m struck by the hysteria, banter, hogwash, know-it-all attitude of people covering mobile–especially digital media. Pete Casmere in his CNN article, quotes an “informal survey” saying that no one wants a Facebook phone. His survey? No. It comes from the Wall Street Journal, which is quickly becoming the authority in the phone industry.
Liz Gannes, writing for All Things Digital, part of the growing Murdoch WSJ empire, asks: “The Facebook Phone. Who Would Want One?” Casmere with CNN titles his piece: “Why is Facebook making a phone that no one wants?” (They probably got together to avoid the same article title.) Google, after indexing all this tripe, headlines the gushy words of “journalists,” with: “Informal Poll. 80% of respondents don’t want a Facebook Phone.”
In case you’re wondering how many want a Facebook phone, Google says 7.8 percent. “See all 28 sources.” I haven’t the nerve, nor the desire, to read all 28 stories. But I think it’s safe to say most of the quotes come from the WSJ. After all, what writer gets fired by quoting the Wall Street Journal?
Android is Dead. Long Live the iPhone
Sound familiar? Well, your editor would have praised you gloriously two years ago if you’d written about Android’s demise. What happened? Well, a few small manufacturers, like Motorola, HTC and Samsung, decided to build them. Neither lawsuits nor Santa Claus, who slipped on the snow at the North Pole, will stop the jolly fellow from delivering the new Rudolph Android Smartphone this year. (That’s the one with the red light on top.)
No Facebook Phone stockings this year, folks. But if it passes media muster next year, Santa’s already making Mark Zuckerberg stocking photos.You see, Santa uses Google to see what’s hot. And if you type “Facebook Phone” in quotes on Google, you’ll get 2.4 million hits. So much for informal surveys.
Facebook Can Do Anything it Wants
If Facebook lawyers can construct such elaboriate privacy policies that confuse even PhD’s, surely Facebook for a few billion dollars can make a phone with its name on it. Perhaps even make a deal with one of the carriers for free texting and simpler cell phone bills. And what about those two-year contracts for smartphones costing you $350 when you stop paying? Surely, the Facebook phone wouldn’t have those.
So, unlike other bloggers, would-be mobile publications (you know, like Cosmo), I say “Who Wouldn’t Want a Facebook Phone?” Even if it doesn’t work, you can always put it on your mantle or turn it into a table lamp.