In another step toward strengthening its mobile position, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced it will supply a home screen for smartphones working on the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system, starting with HTC phones. Rather than an Android Facebook phone, this system gives the social media giant primary billing without hardware input from Facebook. Though it appears Google will still get its due, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reasons to take note of Facebook’s play, as do Samsung (SSNLF.PK) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK).
How will the Facebook app work on Android phones? Upon opening the phone, users will see their news feed, featuring updates according to set preferences. Facebook concerns will take prominence over other types of browsing online.
For Apple, the choice of Facebook to go with Android seems to be an opening salvo in what could be a very interesting battle for numbers one and two in the smartphone game. Apple has the top spot – and the high-end customers – locked down, but Android has the most-used OS worldwide and tremendous potential up and down the range of mobile device price points. With Facebook on board, the Google operating system has the potential to draw in more global customers, many of whom already confuse the two giants with the Internet itself.