Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) may be planning a deal with Samsung to come up with a new smartphone, according to reports from The Korean Herald and The Korea Times (via 9to5Google). It seems that the social networking company has not retired its quest of launching a phone even after failing in its previous effort with HTC.
Facebook is seeing potential in the smartphone business and is reportedly seeking an alliance with smartphone maker Samsung. According to the reports, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg met with Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Lee Jay-Yong at Samsung’s headquarters in Seoul.
The purpose of the meeting was reportedly to discuss the feasibility of launching a phone. It is not clear whether Samsung and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) will come together to launch a completely new device or will continue with the Facebook editions of popular smartphones.
Facebook Inc: Facebook & Smartphones
According to Industry experts, this partnership will be beneficial to both companies, as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) is looking for new streams of revenue, whereas Samsung’s smartphone business is receiving major challenges from Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Huawei.
The Korean company is the largest smartphone maker in the world but posted low earnings in the third quarter, with around a 60% drop from a year earlier due to weak sales in its core smartphone business. There have been wild guesses over the past few years that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) is working on a smartphone. Previously, the company entered into a partnership with HTC and unveiled Facebook ChaCha, with a physical Facebook button for instant posting on the social network, and the HTC First, which included the Facebook Home operating system, which was a software “layer” on top of Android.
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However, none of these efforts were successful for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB), leaving a gap for another phone. The partnership between Facebook and Samsung is not new, as companies are already working together. Zuckerberg’s company already acquired Oculus, the virtual reality company behind the Rift headset. Oculus and Samsung partnered earlier this year for Samsung’s GearVR headset.
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