Is there a Facebook-Samsung deal in the works?

Is social networking giant Facebook looking for a new deal with South Korean smartphone giant Samsung? Speculation allegedly erupted on that front following a face-to-face meeting between a suit-and-tie Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Samsung President Shin Jong Kyun.

Although officially, the Samsung head would only say the conversation dealt with possible partnerships between the two firms, reports suggested Facebook may be looking to Samsung to bolster its floundering Facebook First on smartphones…

Zuckerberg “discussed potential partnerships with Samsung Electronics Co., according to the head of the South Korean company’s handset division,” Bloomberg reported. That general comment caused some tech news sites – such as TechCrunch – to speculate Facebook is looking to replace the faltering HTC One with Samsung.

HTC One is currently the only handset that comes with Facebook Home preloaded.

Facebook Home essentially uses Android to create a Facebook-like experience for handset owners. Amid rumor AT&T is about to stop selling the HTC One, Zuckerberg “is looking for one more kick at the can with Home,” opines TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington.

facebook home 2

Of course, Facebook Home was conceived as a way to create a Facebook Phone without all the mess of a software company venturing into hardware.

The speculation arrived as the tech media virtually crossed their fingers, hoping Zuckerberg talked to Samsung about a full-blown Facebook Phone, and all the stories such a decision would produce.

All of which reminds us of our frequent warning about such speculation: take with a very large dose of skepticism. It was only Monday that the tech site suggested Facebook was preparing to introduce video to its Instagram service.

A source says Facebook will unveil that Instagram, its popular photo-sharing app, will begin to let people also take and share short videos,” reported Ingrid Lunden.

This from a Facebook June 20 invitation alluding to work on “big ideas.”

facebook invite

As Christian noted yesterday, TechCrunch earlier this month said Facebook might introduce a reader to replace Google Reader at the same event.

Is Facebook and Samsung cooking up something interesting?

Most certainly.

Does anyone have an inside track on just what was discussed in the meeting between the two companies’ leaders?


The tech press – including ourselves – should be comfortable with saying when we don’t know.