Facebook is rumored to create a mobile phone. It just does not make sense that such a media company would invest so much time, and resources in building hardware or even in licensing existing hardware to build a phone.
Facebook has a 2 critical problems to solve on mobile. 2 only: app performance, app monetization. The first one being massive.
Facebook already has the critical mobile reach. This is already the most downloaded free iPhone app ever. But clearly not the most appreciated. They have massive reach of DAU/MAU (daily recurring users for simple humans)
Right now Facebook problem on mobile by far is the performance of its mobile app. It is one of the worst mobile app ever created by a great company: it is slow. insanely slow. The reason? it is not native. Not really. It is a web version of the site, wrapped in a native shell. The results is a slow poor experience. Read more about why here
Facebook has to fix that asap. Rebuild everything from scratched. And not just another photo app. Facebook, please build a great native app for iOS. Learn from Twitter in that respect. HTML5 is not there yet and will not be there for the years to come. Actually Facebook just proved they can make a great native app
Facebook, Just fix this (this may be why they hire so many new mobile engineers)
The second problem Facebook has on mobile is monetization: Facebook has not (yet) monetized mobile. But has the potential to do it. Look at how mobile app networks are monetizing. Do not use stupid, ineffective banner ads. Invent a format that captures user attention. Create a context that will make users want to click on ads. Facebook clear has the ability to leverage its audience to generate app downloads and more conversion related actions.
But users won’t click on any type of ads if the app sucks.
Facebook does not need a phone to make a better app. They don’t need to own an OS or license an OS to do that.
Facebook please do not make a phone. Make a great app.
Bonus: Actually if you want to see the Facebook phone before anyone, click here