Things haven’t been going great for Samsung lately, but things surely can’t be this bad for the company… can they? SamMobile points us to a new report in The Korea Herald that claims Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is meeting with Samsung executives in Seoul this week to discuss whether Samsung is interested in building the next “Facebook Phone.”
“Tuesday’s meeting also raised speculations that Samsung and Facebook could soon reveal a new form of smartphone gadget, which is being called the ‘Facebook phone’ by local media,” The Korea Herald writes. “Industry watchers say the two firms’ smartphone collaboration will bring tangible benefits for both companies, as Facebook continues to find a new growth engine while Samsung’s smartphone business is being threatened by its Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Huawei.”
It’s true that Samsung has seen its profits eroded by low-cost Android competitors recently but at the same time we have a hard time imagining the company getting desperate enough to release an Android phone that comes loaded with Facebook Home, which was Facebook’s little-liked Android overlay that essentially took over your phone’s home screen and replaced it with Facebook content.
A Samsung spokesperson declined to comment on whether or not Samsung was actually considering making a “Facebook phone,” although the company has to know that there has been no evidence that anyone actually wants such a device. The first two Facebook-centric Android phones — the HTC ChaCha and the HTC First — were both monumental flops that HTC has not seemed eager to repeat no matter how much money Facebook might fling at them.
Last year The Korean Herald reported that Samsung had flatly rejected Zuckerberg’s proposal for building a Facebook phone, although at that time the company was still on top of the world and hauling in record profits. Now that Samsung is under greater pressure, it’s easy to imagine the company is looking for new ways to generate cash… but we still can’t imagine one of them is a Facebook phone.