NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Next week -- on Jan. 15 at 10:00 a.m. in Menlo Park, California -- Facebook ( FB) will hold a press event. The company sent out invitations this morning.
Top two thoughts that come to mind. First, via email from Doug Kass: Is Facebook the next Apple ( AAPL)? Second, via the masses who might be right, but even that doesn't excuse them from not having an original thought: Will Mark Zuckerberg introduce a Facebook smartphone? I love Kass. I love Zuckerberg. I really like Facebook. But Zuckerberg, as great as he is, is not Steve Jobs. He's not even Jeff Bezos or Howard Schultz yet. And Facebook is not Apple. Probably never will be, even if Apple never returns to its between iPhone and iPad glory days. As Zuckerberg says, Facebook started as an idea -- a social mission, not a company. It's fascinating really -- the guy changes the world (within the appropriate context) and essentially falls, pardon my backyard French, ass backwards into a multi-billion dollar company. Neither Facebook nor Zuckerberg has the street cred to create the aura of anticipation that precedes an Apple event, even now with Tim Cook clicking through the slides. 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. There's no point to enter that market. Nobody will buy a Facebook phone because a bunch of really good ones already exist, particularly Apple's iPhone. That Facebook app probably owns first-page space on every smartphone in America. Even if it partners with a major hardware maker, there's no incentive for Facebook to do this because there's no incentive to buy a Facebook-branded smartphone. Zuckerberg operates a very different ecosystem than the one Bezos runs at Amazon.com ( 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. So what will Zuck announce?