Midday Report: Facebook Said To Team With HTC on Mobile Content
Produced by Drew Trachtenberg
Facebook (FB), Google (GOOG) and other non-hardware firms are making big plays in mobile devices.
Facebook has set a big media event for tomorrow, and the speculation – or the leaks – focuses on making the social
networking site your mobile home page.
But it's probably not going to be a Facebook phone, one of the off-and-on rumors that have circulated for several years.
Instead, Facebook is expected to announce that it's teaming up with smartphone maker HTC. They'll use Android-based operating systems to feature Facebook content.
For Facebook, it's all about generating more ads and more revenue, as its users migrate from the PC to mobile devices.
The company said a few months ago that more than 650 million of its one billion daily users access Facebook on their mobile devices.
HTC phones already have a button that allows users to post photos directly to Facebook, but the company's goal is make access even easier to keep those users engaged for longer periods of time.
Facebook has been somewhat slow to embrace mobile. Last year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said a Facebook phone would be, in his words, "the wrong strategy."
The company's inability to make big money from mobile was one of the reasons Facebook's stock stumbled so badly after its IPO last May.
But now, the company wants to capture the mobile world.
Reports say the new phone will seamlessly integrate its NewsFeed, messaging, photo uploading and other services.
Google, which makes the Android operating system, is also stepping up its game to dominate mobile: Reports say it will launch a new version of its Nexus 7 tablet. Reuters says the company expects to ship as many as 8 million of the new tablets in the second half of this year.
And Google is likely to price the new model very aggressively to challenge Apple, Amazon (AMZN) and other tablet makers.