Should Apple and Google be nervous about Facebook Home?
We figured that in the mobile wars, the winners and losers were already abundantly clear. The biggest successes belong to the hardware manufacturers, with Samsung and Apple achieving profits of $53 billion last year. Whilst mobile operating systems are not quite as profitable at the moment, they are still a proven means of making money.
Apple receives almost $2 billion a year in commission from its app store, and Google are hopeful to match that with app sales and advertising on its Android platform. Meanwhile, the biggest flop in the mobile market is the humble app itself. With millions of apps available, selling software at £2 a go isn’t going to make anybody a millionaire any time soon. The typical mobile app developer takes in just under £30,000 each year.
Rumours have circulated since 2010 that Facebook would make a real go at making money out of mobile. Some claimed the social networking giant intended to manufacture its own device. Others whispered that its own operating system was in the works. In reality, the result was a let-down for both camps, although there’s more than meets the eye with Facebook Home.
Facebook Home is essentially a piece of software which sits in between the OS and apps, and commands a lot of attention from the user. It essentially puts Facebook at the centre of the smartphone, as opposed to operating system of the phone. Think of it as an “apperating system” which allows people to use their devices more efficiently.
The concept of Facebook Home (and the apperating system in general) has certainly rattled the cages of Apple and Google, both of whom could potentially crack down on the idea if it proves to be too problematic. However, for Google it would mean a complete U-turn on its commitment to open-source software, which remains unlikely – for now, at least.