Rumour: Microsoft pitching a Facebook phone to Facebook

Business Insider is claiming Microsoft is trying to pitch Facebook a Windows Phone as the long-rumoured “Facebook phone”.

According to BusinessInsider’s source Microsoft is trying to convince Facebook not to go down the custom Android build like Amazon, but to adopt a version of Windows Phone instead. The phone would carry Facebook branding, something like “The Facebook Phone, powered by Windows” and would have even deeper Facebook integration than Windows Phone has already.

According to BI a Microsoft Facebook phone would have significant advantages for Facebook:

  • We’re not Google – Facebook and Google are direct competitors at present so making a phone that’s reliant in even a small way on Google would not sit well with Facebook.
  • We know what to do and how to do it. Making a phone is not easy. You have to develop the OS, get manufacturers to build handsets for it, get carriers to carry it, market it, sell it, and ship it. Facebook has no idea how to do any of this. Microsoft does, and it will offer to help Facebook with all of it. 
  • We know everyone. Microsoft has relationships across the industry. Samsung, HTC, and Nokia are already making Windows Phones. LG was. AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon are already carrying the phones. Microsoft spends hundreds of millions of dollars with ad agencies every year. It’s working with a logistics firm, Brightpoint, to get the product shipped to stores efficiently.

The advantages to Microsoft, according to BI’s source, would be:

  • Some of the appeal is being able to drive mobile traffic to Microsoft’s online properties, particularly Bing.
  • Microsoft’s grandest desire is deep penetration in mobile that will allow it to someday offer consumers a NFC-powered payments product.
  • Microsoft wants to do something like PayPal, but in the physical world. It wants to get there before Google figures out how to fix Google Wallet.
  • Microsoft is not particularly interested in the concept of location-based advertising.

According to the source the phone is not imminent, but Microsoft is hanging around until Facebook gets serious about its phone move.

Facebook PR declined to comment to BI on the rumour.

Read more at BusinessInsider here.

Do our readers think a Windows Phone “Facebook phone” would be good for the ecosystem, or will it fork the operating system? Let us know below.


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