Sad news? No, best news ever. Previous “Facebook” phones were utter crap. So it’s great news that instead of forcing another aborted effort into the tech world, Facebook will instead work hand in hand with Chinese chipmaker Spreadtrum and hardwire its Facebook app into and endless amount of cheapie Android phones, according to Gigaom.com. Rejoice!
Here’s the skinny: Spreadtrum says that millions of Android phones will now be “Facebook ready” as it will pre-install the emerging market Android phones with the Facebook app. Gigaom calls it a “smartphone in a box” and its associated handset makers will get the OS, reference design protocol stack and more. Then it’s all easily pieced together.
Now, some of us are thinking “but anyone can just download the Facebook app from Google Play”. Here’s the rub though, some emerging market smartphones are so underpowered that the app may not perform optimally. Therefore, by installing the software at the root level, any device can conceivably run Facebook’s app. India and China are being targeted by Spreadtrum as optimal markets for the preloaded Facebook app phones.
Spreadtrum further says that it expects to ship 80 to 100-million of the prepackaged Facebook app phones kits in 2013 alone. Let’s end with a quote from Facebook’s VP of mobile partnerships. “Working with Spreadtrum will extend Facebook’s reach in emerging markets, leveraging the rapid shift from feature phones to smartphones that is now taking place globally.” At least no new ugly Facebook phones with those gross looking buttons.