One of the ongoing tech rumors is that Facebook is, like, totally going to build a phone, you guys. Much to the consternation of tech bloggers with slow news days to fill and short-sighted Wall Street types, Zuckerberg has slammed the door on the idea of Facebook rather hard.
And to be honest, Zuck’s explanation actually makes quite a lot of sense:
“We’re not going to build a phone,” he said during the social network’s earnings call Wednesday. “It’s not the right strategy for us to build one integrated system…Let’s say we sell 10 million units — that would be 1 percent of users. Who cares for us?”
Granted, selling ten million phones is nothing to sneeze at, but Zuckerberg is actually being a responsible CEO, here. Facebook is not in the hardware building business, and it can’t hope to compete with other Web companies going into hardware like Google, which has billions to pee away and the potential for even more fat stacks of cash as its software and by extension its hardware catches on. Notice, though, that Google has still wound up going through companies like ASUS and LG to release its products.
Secondly, it’s a competitive industry that can chew you up and spit you out with speed, and considering Facebook’s stock was worth about ten bucks less than it is now per share not so long ago, we can’t imagine Zuckerberg is at ease with the idea of that happening again.
Finally, really Facebook’s ultimate goal is to supplant cell companies as your call provider. They’ve already got voicemails and a solid VoIP option. Imagine where Facebook will be in ten years, when everybody is on it and making a call with it over public WiFi, which is only getting more ubiquitous, is cheaper than paying for a cell plan.
So, yeah, of course he’s not building a cellphone. Why do that when you can build a carrier instead?