Facebook (FB) Phones Home

Last week, Facebook (FB) announced "Home" for Android, a hub application that ties together Facebook features and mobile apps on a single platform. Prior to the announcement, finance writers and analysts had been speculating that Facebook might release a phone to compete with Apple's (AAPL) iPhone or other Google (GOOG) Android devices.

During the announcement, Zuckerberg stated that it was never his intention to create a hardware solution, which could reach 10 million to 20 million users. He stated that by piggybacking off Google hardware, Facebook Home could reach 64 million U.S. users in this year alone, with minimal risk to the company. "Just building a phone isn't enough for Facebook," Zuckerberg told the audience at the release. Daily Chart
Home for Android will be available for download on April 12 in the United States, and is aimed at becoming a replacement UI (user interface) for smartphone users. When Home users' smartphones are unlocked, they will see Facebook's "Cover Feed" instead of their usual desktop' of apps. Roughly 80% of Facebook's current News Feed items will be prominently featured on the Cover Feed. Status updates and new photos will pop up on the phone's Home screen. Tapping messages twice allows users to "Like" statuses and photos, while comments can be directly posted from the Home screen. Swiping around the Cover Feed area could reveal newly posted photos from friends. Messages from friends will instantly pop up along with their photo as a notification. Another swipe would allow Home users to swap back to their regular Android apps. Facebook Home will initially be available on select Android devices, such as HTC's One X series and Samsung's Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2. The HTC First, which is preloaded with Home as a default OS, will start selling on April 12 via AT&T (T). AT&T is selling the First for $99.99 with a two-year data plan. Additional features such as video, camera and direct phone calls won't be available on the initial version of Home, but will be added in future upgrades. Zuckerberg claims that the software will be updated at least once a month. Home will not be compatible with Google's Nexus phone, considering the current rivalry between Facebook and Google. Interestingly enough, Facebook is modifying open-sourced Android to create its new service, just as Amazon (AMZN) created a forked version of Android for its Kindle tablets. It's unknown how well all of this will sit with Google, as Home can be considered a major intrusion into Google's mobile ecosystem. Although Google was unable to block Amazon from modifying Android, it responded with its own competitor, the Google Nexus tablet series, last year. Analysts believe that Home will be a positive growth catalyst for Facebook, and give it a larger area to add advertisements. This could help boost its top line growth, and push shares back towards its IPO price of $38. Other News About FB Facebook Tweaks Android Phones to Build New 'Home' Facebook rolls out Home, its customized Android start page. My First Twelve Questions About Facebook Home Some initial questions regarding Facebook's intentions. Other Stocks in the News Which Tech Giant Should Pin Down Pinterest? Would Pinterest be a valuable asset for these three companies? How Did Conn's Conquerits Big Box Rivals? Why did Conn outperform Best Buy last quarter? Copyright 2013 by InvestorGuide.com, Inc. InvestorGuide has no control over the sites we link to, is not affiliated with these sites, and cannot take responsibility for their quality or suitability. The news, analysis, commentary and profile information is not meant to be comprehensive, and the data provided is not guaranteed to be accurate. WebFinance Inc., the publisher of this newsletter, is not a registered investment advisor or a broker/dealer. This is not a stock recommendation newsletter but rather a source for investment ideas, and we encourage you to fully research any company before considering investing. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of nor are they endorsed by WebFinance Inc. No employee of WebFinance has owned or currently owns any shares in the company described above. The above is neither an offer nor solicitation to buy or sell any securities. The trading of securities may not be suitable for all potential readers of this newsletter, and the purchase of stocks mentioned in this newsletter may result in the loss of some or all of any investment made. We recommend that you consult a stockbroker or financial advisor before buying or selling securities or making investment decisions. We are not responsible for claims made by advertisers and sponsors. Anyone who makes decisions based on what they read here does so at their own risk and cannot hold WebFinance Inc. (DBA InvestorGuide.com, Inc.) or its employees responsible.

Published on Apr 9, 2013
By Leo Sun
Leo Sun
Leo Sun is a freelance finance writer and position trader. He focuses on a combination of value and momentum investing, with a strong interest in the trading philosophies of Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch. Leo also has experience writing articles to help small business owners acquire loans and manage their finances. He regularly contributes to the Stock of the Day analysis.

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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