Despite the original Facebook phone and the HTC First both being complete failures, Facebook isn’t giving up on the mobile hardware business. The latest patent shows Facebook has ideas in mind for a unibody, slim device that involves “co-molding the display with the body of a device.” It sounds like something HTC would do, but this Facebook’s patent, not HTC.
The patent lists pretty detailed manufacturing instructions that include a removable sleeve for the device, so it would seem like something that Facebook has been considering for quite some time. Since this isn’t a patent filed by a hardware manufacturer, it’s not clear how Facebook plans on getting this device made, but it looks like they might be trying to enter the hardware market. It’s definitely a bold move for a social network.
Amazon has long crafted their own hardware to drive consumers into the Amazon ecosystem, where Amazon makes money on selling products, Prime memberships, movies, TV shows, music, etc. Amazon sells nearly everything under the sun, but Facebook doesn’t operate on the same business model. It should be interesting to see how Facebook plans on moving beyond just a simple mobile app, and if this patent has anything to do with it.