This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Any Facebook Phone Would Be Zuckerberg's Dumbest Idea Ever

Stocks in this article: FB GOOG AAPL AMZN P

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- This week all signs point to Facebook (FB) doing something with a smartphone. On Thursday, we'll find out if the popular rumors come true -- a tweaked-out version of Google's (GOOG) Android mobile operating system running on an HTC device.

As I wrote in early January prior to Facebook's last big announcement:

Zuckerberg already shot down the smartphone plans. For all intents and purposes, he called it a stupid move because that's exactly what it is . . .
Nobody will buy a Facebook phone because a bunch of really good ones already exist, particularly Apple's (AAPL) iPhone. Th(e) Facebook app probably owns first-page space on every smartphone in America . . . Zuckerberg operates a very different ecosystem than the one Jeff Bezos runs at (AMZN). Hardware should never -- under any circumstance I can think of -- enter the social equation.
Let other companies take on that burden at no cost to Facebook.

That's exactly what Facebook might be doing. Zuckerberg said his company would not make a phone. HTC builds the phone, Facebook powers the Facebook-centric platform.

Still a bad idea. Or at least a needless one.

No matter who actually produces the phone, I don't see the benefit of Facebook making itself the focus on a smartphone nobody, relatively speaking, will buy, especially when the social network tends to dominate space on the smartphones that actually get sold. It's not like you can't, with the push of a button or three, completely integrate Facebook into your present device. Millions of people do 24/7, 365.

Eavesdrop on the next 10 people you see scrolling through something on their phone. I run this experiment all the time. Almost invariably, more than half of the unknowing subjects happen to be running Facebook. Quite a few have Instagram, which I assume would be co-featured on a Facebook-centric phone, open, keeping it in the FB family.

All of this talk about Facebook needing to position itself as the main app on a platform -- it just sounds like one big distraction. Facebook's sole focus should be providing the best user experience it can via its present, always-evolving platform.

If it holds its place as the go-to social network, everything else takes care of itself. Its icon will live on the first screen of iPhones and other smartphones, snuffing out the competition.

Focus. Don't lose it. This is an instance where Sheryl Sandberg needs to reel Zuckerberg in. The smartphone idea, in and of itself, will not hurt Facebook; however an unintended consequence could be a loss of focus. That's the worrisome part.

Focus. It's the reason why I stay, by and large, confident about Pandora's (P) long-term prospects despite all the noise. I'm fairly certain that a focused management team has the reigns. It doesn't need a Pandora-centric consumer device to maintain its massive Internet radio lead and continued disruption of terrestrial radio. It just needs to keep providing the best radio experience available.

That's how Zuck should direct 100% of Facebook's tangible and intangible resources -- hyper-focused on providing the best social experience there is.

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs