Brad Shimmin, an analyst with Current Analysis, said he's expecting Facebook to introduce more, and better, mobile software supporting a wider range of devices, possibly focusing on real-time communications across Android, iOS and possible Windows 8 devices.
"Facebook has been both late to market and limited in demonstrating an understanding of the importance of mobility," Shimmin said. "Even with its recently introduced native applications for Android, Facebook has revealed the comparative immaturity of its engineering efforts. The new Android client, for example, has been shown to consume excessive system resources while running in the background. But the company can and most certainly will overcome such missteps."
Other analysts, including Patrick Moorhead with Moor Insights & Strategy, and Jack Gold with J. Gold Associates, said they view talk of a Facebook smartphone as a tired, old rumor that resurfaces every time the company is going to make another announcement.
"In my opinion, it would be a mistake for them to offer a phone," said Gold. "They don't have the ecosystem that an Amazon has for releasing its own devices... How do you make any significant revenues? Will existing users really switch to a Facebook-branded phone? I just can't see Facebook being successful with its own branded devices."
Computerworld Senior Editor Matt Hamblen contributed to this report.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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