On July 26, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shot down rumors of the social networking giant developing its own brand of mobile phone, thereby quelling years’ worth of speculations revolving around this topic.
Or did it?
As Zuckerberg gave a report on the earnings of his company in the second quarter of 2012, the first since Facebook went for public listing, one of the questions thrown at him was about the release of the rumored Facebook phone.
“There are lots of things that you can build in other operating systems, as well, that aren’t really like building out a whole phone, which I think wouldn’t really make much sense for us to do,” Zuckerberg said.
He added that the company is still focused on working with big smartphone developers currently in the market through the development of its apps, which explains why the company is currently “supporting Apple and working closely with them.”
Blog authors and various news websites quickly latched on this latest development and provided their own analyses. The conclusion: regardless of this statement from the owner of the world’s largest social networking site, readers and blog owners alike believe that Facebook is still in the works for creating its own smartphone.
‘Round the rumor mill
The said conference call reported that Facebook earned a total of $1.18 billion revenue for the second quarter of 2012 and had 955 million active monthly users. Considering this is the first public earnings report for the social media, analysts believe that its revenues were stronger than expected but still fell short.
Zuckerberg’s statement actually further fanned the flame of the Facebook phone coming out in the near future. Speculations still abound that Zuckerberg is in talks with mobile phone manufacturer HTC to develop the rumored mobile phone. Concept phones are even cropping up.
On the same day that Zuckerberg answered the big question on the mobile phone, Mike Isaac of All Things D saw a few holes in the CEO’s statement.
“Nobody, including AllThingsD, ever said Facebook was building its own phone. As my colleagues reported last year, Facebook tapped Taiwanese cellphone manufacturer HTC as a partner in working on a Facebook phone, one that has the social network’s platform fully integrated deep into the core of the hardware,” Isaac rebutted.
To further prove his argument, Isaac pointed out that even tech giant Apple can argue along the same lines as that of Zuckerberg’s statement, since Foxconn technically builds the iPhones and not Apple itself.
Although this rumor has been circulating for years, it resounded more in the online world starting last May. According to an article in the New York Times, employees, engineers, and other people involved have high hopes that Facebook will release its mobile phone by next year.
Regardless of the hype attached to the rumored phone, however, The Telegraph conducted a survey showing that even if the Facebook phone comes out, half of their respondents will not buy it.
Apparently, Zuckerberg is still in the hot seat concerning his mobile phone. The blogosphere and all the tech-savvy people are sitting at the edge of their seats waiting for the next official statements and speculations to come out.