Mark Zuckerberg looking for a Samsung-made Facebook phone in Korea

by: Bogdan PetrovanJune 18, 2013

Mark Zuckerberg Korea AP Photo/Yonhap, Do Kwang-hwan

Like Larry Page of Google did a few weeks back, Mark Zuckerberg is visiting South Korea, home to some of the largest mobile companies, and increasingly, the place where the big decisions in the mobile industry are being taken. As his Google counterpart did, Zuckerberg met with the country’s president to discuss matters of “creative economy”, and, more importantly, with the top brass of Samsung, the largest smartphone maker in the world.

Sources told the Korea Herald that Mark Zuckerberg asked Samsung’s CEO JK Shin and the group’s heir apparent, Lee Jay-yong, for a Samsung-made “Facebook phone”, probably similar to the HTC First. The report quotes an unnamed “market watcher” who said Facebook is hoping that Samsung would help it improve its position in the increasingly vital mobile market. Moreover, the insider said the social networking giant hopes to be the second Google, and a Facebook-friendly phone from Samsung would help that ambitious goal.

Samsung doesn't want a second Google

Clearly, Facebook realized that it’s going to need more than a half-baked effort like the HTC First and the Facebook Home app, if it wants to successfully transition to a mobile-first company. The HTC First is said to be selling poorly, and there were even rumors about an early cancellation of the project due to low sales. Mark Zuckerberg needs a better partner to crack the problem, and Samsung is in the best position to help.

But is Samsung interested in making a Facebook-friendly phone? The industry experts cited by the Korea Herald believe that “there is no symbolic or monetary significance in such a deal”. In other words, Samsung has nothing to win from such a deal, and moreover, “Samsung doesn’t want to help nurture a second Google, which is now becoming a formidable rival for Samsung in the handset business”. The report says that even the meeting between Mark Zuckerberg and the Samsung leadership is likely to be the result of some intense cajoling on Facebook’s part.

With more users accessing Facebook primarily on their mobile devices, and with the growth of its user base stalling or even reversing in some markets, Mark Zuckerberg’s company needs a successful strategy in mobile like air. It remains to be seen if Samsung is the strong partner that Facebook is looking for.

  • MasterMuffin

    Even Samsung isn’t that crazy and even Samsung’s marketing power can’t save FB Home!

  • True, FB is pretty much begging for help at this point.

  • Bone

    Forget Facebook phone, Sammy.

  • 윌 스튜어트

    They (Facebook) should have called the HTC First, “The Facebook Phone” – it would have been a good marketing ploy.

    • I don’t think that would have helped. People just don’t want such a device.

    • barry

      They (Facebook) should have called the HTC First, “The LAST Facebook Phone” ;)

  • #Blackberry ,@BlackBerry
    BlackBerry plans to launch 4 phones before 2014

  • Mike Bastable

    “But is Samsung interested in making a Samsung-phone?”….one would hope so!
    Maybe read something before posting it?

    • Fixed, sorry.

      • n900mixalot

        Don’t apologize. We knew what you meant and thought it’s already embarrassing enough to make a mistake like that: (1) we all do it, (2) he was being an ass.

        • Mike Bastable

          I was actually concerned that Bogdan meant it, the S4 seemed kinda lackluster…also Bogdan was aware I was’t nit picking which is why he apologized, I took it for granted he would edit the post and remove mine, since he often follow the comments, related to his posts.

    • n900mixalot

      Since Bogdan can’t say it, what about being less of a dick about how you correct people?

      • Mike Bastable

        It is and remains good advice, read before posting. I will attempt to correct in the loving style of a new born kitten in future. Thanks for the etiquette lesson n900, and for calling me an ass. Pot, Kettle, Black? Ce n’est pas?

  • Peeyush Malik

    So are we going to see Galaxy S4 facebook edition?????

    • APai

      that would be a faceplant for samsung :P

  • HitokiriX

    If Samsung won’t even try it… then you know you’ve got a problem.

  • gommer strike

    Facebook is dying.

    Teens don’t care about Facebook, they’ve all long moved onto twitter and Instagram(YES I KNOW, OWNED BY FACEBOOK). Point is made though. Any social medium has a finite lifespan. You can’t make an entire device just hinging on that social medium.

    Think how idiotic someone would look if they made a Twitter phone.

  • Luka Mlinar

    How about NO! Or ill do you one better. How about a signed document from every CEO of a major mobile manufacturer telling their costumers that they will never ever make a Facebook phone.

  • n900mixalot

    Anyway … what massive tech firm begs in 2013?

    You don’t find Samsung, Samsung finds you.

  • aholsteinson

    Face it Mark, nobody wants a Facebook Phone. Just…Go Home.

  • APai

    FB is a cancer, especially now that its amply clear post-NSA outing.