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Facebook May Be Working With Samsung on a New Smartphone

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It looks like Facebook could still be mulling over a possible Facebook phone — this time without HTC's help.

Facebook is reportedly in talks with Samsung regarding a possible collaboration on a new smartphone, according to The Korean Herald and The Korea Times (via 9to5Google).

According to the reports, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg met with Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jay-yong at Samsung's headquarters in Seoul.

Rumors of some sort of a standalone Facebook phone have existed for years. Facebook's previous attempts at a Facebook-centric phone include the HTC ChaCha, which featured a physical Facebook button for quickly posting to the social network, and the HTC First, which included the Facebook Home operating system, which was really a software "layer" on top of Android.

Both phones failed to take off, leaving the possibility of a Facebook-exclusive phone up in the air.

A partnership between Facebook and Samsung could make a lot of sense, however, and the two companies are actually already working together.

Facebook now owns Oculus, the virtual reality company behind the highly anticipated Rift headset. Oculus and Samsung partnered earlier this year for Samsung's GearVR headset.

Oculus helped provide the tech behind the headset, along with integration with the Oculus ecosystem, and in return, Samsung provided Oculus with the displays for its DK2 development kits, which utilize screens taken from the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

If Samsung and Facebook do work together on a smartphone, you can expect Facebook's focus to be on the software inside the phone and how apps will integrate with Facebook, which Zuckerberg has fixated on in the past.


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