Today’s oracle looks into ‘Facebook Home’ for iOS and Apple’s dilemma over the provision for a cheaper iPhone.
Facebook released their new interface ‘Facebook Home’ for Android just 4 days ago and surprised us all with an update to Facebook’s Apple iOS with some similar attributes.
Rumours had been ongoing that Facebook was attempting to get ‘Facebook Home‘ on to Apple’s iOS.
Whilst it was of uniform opinion that it would be a ‘cold day in hell’ before Apple would allow such integration into Apple’s HomeScreen, or for it to allow ‘Facebook Home” to be integrated within the overall UI, in effect allowing it to interface with third-party and default apps; Facebook appears to have come up with a winning solution.
If you are an iOS user, you can check your iTunes updates to see that a new version of Facebook has arrived and low and behold, it has Facebook chat-heads incorporated.
In addition, stickers will arrive to the app in the coming weeks. Stickers aims to bring your messages to life. It would appear that Facebook does not want to follow the stream of emoticons that is usually incorporated into other chat and social apps, and aims to bring in a new family of social messages altogether. It does state that some stickers will be available for purchase in-app. So it looks as if Facebook on iOS will be receiving that in-app purchase logo that we spoke about earlier.
Is this the beginning of something new for Facebook? Is it possible that in-app purchases could lead on to other things? Facebook could have an in-app cost to get rid of advertising should the latter become increasingly annoying to customers or it could bring the costs of virtual gifts to the app.
Facebook Home or Chat heads will be limited to use within the Facebook app itself and will not exist or appear outside of the application.
Will you be using the new Chat heads? I normally, have chat switched off but will be trialling it for a while to see whether I like it. With my new stance towards Facebook on the web, this could be an interesting tactic from Facebook to see if I use my phone app more than I do at present.
Apple is in a Dilemma with its sales of the iPhone.
The iPhone remains one of the best-selling smartphones but there is a keen and eager market to be had if Apple were to lower their defences. Namely, there is a huge market potential in catering for users with a lower-income price bracket. Those new customers could be based within the West, but if Apple feels that customers are more affluent in the West, they may look to Asia and beyond.
Sales of low-end BlackBerry’s and Nokia devices are on the increase in countries such as Africa, Asia and South America to name a few.
Is it likely that Apple will seek to introduce a low-end iPhone and restrict it to those markets? They would then have an almost unlimited supply of new customers ready to join the Apple alliance and increase their sales and income without a new cheaper iPhone impacting on its sales or its allegiances to those in the West. Of course, a few will slip-in due to the grey market but the majority of users will remain the legitimate sales.
Is this option or angle something Apple is or should be looking into?