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. If it was a free cellular phone similar to the free internet that is being planned, it would likely do quite well. 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: