Facebook is on a bit of a losing streak lately. Amidst rumors that Mark Zuckerberg and co. were panicking about losing “cool cred” to Instagram, the company swiftly purchased that particular mobile app for a cool $1 billion (more than twice what some experts said it was worth).
Next up was Facebook’s long-awaited, much-anticipated IPO. That turned out to be a disaster, as shares bled value in the hours and days following the IPO and billions of dollars of market value disappeared into thin air.
Today, the focus is on the so-called “Facebook phone” that has been rumored for well over a year now. Facebook is said to want to make a splash in the mobile world–via hardware rather than software.
Respected tech blog All Things D reported last year that Facebook was in talks with HTC to produce a phone, under the codename “Buffy.” Now, we are hearing that Facebook is stocking up on engineers with hopes of releasing the phone by 2013.
Can the phone succeed? That’s a very difficult question to answer. There’s no question that going to the log in Facebook homepage is as much a part of everyday life as showering or brushing your teeth. A Facebook-branded phone would certainly be an attention-getter, but it would have to function as more than a Facebook device to gain any traction in a world of very sophisticated Android and iOS devices.
It’s impossible to predict whether a Facebook phone would be a commercial success, but it’s not impossible to predict what a Facebook would look like. Several designers have taken a shot at doing just that. Below are some of the best renderings of what a Facebook phone might look like: