by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
June 20, 2013 (TSR) – Mark Zuckerberg, one of the young cofounders of Facebook, on Tuesday met with Samsung Electronics executives including the heir Lee Jay-yong and mobile unit chief Shin Jong-kyun to ask Samsung to manufacture a “Facebook-friendly” phone. Samsung rejected with big fat NO on the spot as it doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of HTC and release a Facebook-centric “Galaxy First”, The Korea Herald reports.
During the meeting with Samsung, which was one of the key points in Zuckerberg’s short itinerary in Korea, he pitched the subject of creating a “Facebook-friendly” smartphone with Samsung using its popular Home app for Android, but was promptly rejected.
Samsung doesn’t particularly want to help Facebook in its quest to become the next Google since it doesn’t want to contend with any additional rivals in the mobile world, one of The Korea Herald’s sources also notes.
Facebook has been talking about releasing a smartphone for the past three years now, and while two mobile incarnations were created in conjunction with the social network (HTC Status and HTC First), none were ever truly considered the official Facebook phone. HTC First has been one of the biggest failures of the year so far, which makes Zuckerberg’s pitch not seen in a positive light.
Moreover, there is no symbolic or monetary significance in such a deal. Facebook does not carry the kind of premium image that Samsung is seeking to carve out in the world, meaning that a “Facebook-friendly” phone would bring no real benefits for the Korean electronics conglomerate.
Google last year acquired Motorola Mobility and is now expected to roll out the Moto X phone.
Meanwhile, Zuckerberg did not meet with Koo Bon-joon, the head of LG Electronics, another top maker of smartphones, during his trip.
When Google’s cofounder Larry Page visited Korea earlier this year, he met with the heads of both Samsung and LG.
Samsung’s prompt rejection serves as proof that even smartphone manufacturers see no future in a Facebook phone, let alone Facebook. There are rumors that AT&T is discontinuing the Facebook-centric HTC First soon.
It does not look good for Facebook’s future prospects, which is the reason for the PR focus of mainstream media on Zuckerberg’s meeting with President Guen-hye and her “creative economy” instead.