Facebook Home on HTC First: 3 reasons why it may not work in India

By : |April 5, 2013 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: When Facebook decided to put to rest wide-ranging speculations about it bringing out a phone by announcing Facebook Home on HTC First phone, initially there was some sort of ambiguity over whether it was an app or an operating system. Some called it software, others said super-app. Now, it seems clear. The Home service gives Facebook a chance to take control of the main screen of phones running on Android, the leading mobile operating system.

But it is essential to ponder upon whether it will work in India. With no announcement on the launch date or price for India, the following reasons are based on previous numbers.

1. How many Indians access Facebook on phones?

Undoubtedly, India’s mobile penetration has gone up with over 860 million mobile users (including multiple device owners) currently, but that is much higher compared to the use of Internet on mobiles.

According to a report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the number of mobile Internet users in India is 87 million (approximately 10 per cent of the overall figure) and is expected to nearly double and hit 165 million by March 2015. The Internet Trends Report says that mobile Internet accounts for 59.36 per cent of the total Internet usage in India. That brings us to the point as how many people access Facebook on their phones?

Facebook has over 50 million active users in India, but how many of them would like to be greeted with content from Facebook every time they look at their phones. After one downloads and installs Facebook Home, 80 per cent of what now appears within a Facebook user’s News Feed will automatically be transferred into the cover feed of the Home service. That can be a sibling’s status update or a friend’s holiday photo. Liking it or comenting can be done directly from the home screen.

2. Limited access

At first, Facebook Home will only work on some Android devices, including HTC Corp’s One X and One X Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2. All these phones are high-end smartphones. India had 44 million smartphone subscribers at the end of 2012, according to Internet Trends report. Unless the Home is extended to more handsets at the earliest, it could be in trouble.

The phone from HTC that comes pre-loaded with Home will be available starting April 12, with AT&T Inc. as the carrier. Earlier, Mark Zuckerberg said the speculation (Facebook phone) never made sense to him because he believed a company-produced phone might only end up in the hands of 10 million to 20 million people.

So, even after a tie-up with HTC, doesn’t Facebook face the same threat? Only time can tell.

2. Low HTC penetration


“We think this is the best version of Facebook there is,” he said, subtly implying that using Facebook on Apple’s iPhone and other smartphones may not be an enriching experience. In India, HTC doesn’t figure among the top three handset manufacturers.

According to CyberMedia Research, Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia led the overall market with 21.8 per cent share, followed by Korean giant Samsung (13.7 per cent) and Micromax was placed third at 6.6 per cent market share.

So, with this you let us know if HTC First with Facebook Home will be a success in India or not.

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