Facebook Looks to Usurp the Apple APP STORE?

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    Posted: 16 June 2011 05:59 AM

    Facebook planning ?Project Spartan? attack on Apple?s App Store?
    Seth Weintraub | Source 9-5 Mac.
    June 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    TechCrunch continues their profiling of Facebook (once) secret projects with news that Zuckerberg and company plan a web-based alternative web store to Apple?s App Store for iOS devices.

    Dubbed Project Spartan, the project is a framework for apps that would use social hooks and work inside of Facebook?s ecosystem.

      As we understand it, Project Spartan is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on verge of launching. It?s entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is both surprising and awesome: mobile Safari.

      Yes, Facebook is about to launch a mobile platform aimed squarely at working on the iPhone (and iPad). But it won?t be distributed through the App Store as a native application, it will be entirely HTML5-based and work in Safari.

    Why? Because it?s the one area of the device that Facebook will be able to control (or mostly control).

    Project Spartan will also be available on Android but according to TechCrunch, Facebook has Apple in its sights first.

      As of right now, there are believed to be 80 or so outside developers working with Facebook on Project Spartan. These teams are working on apps for the platform that range from games to news-reading apps. Some of the names should be familiar: Zynga and Huffington Post (owned by our parent AOL), for example. The goal is to have these apps ready to roll in the next few weeks for a formal unveiling shortly thereafter.

    ?Project Trojan? sounds like a better name.

    [ Edited: 16 June 2011 06:01 AM by TanToday ]

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    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2011 06:55 AM #1

    Advantages for Apple investors: 
    more awareness of mobile apps.
    more awareness of iPhone over Android

    Not advantage:
    Facebook’s declining reputation
    only HTML5 ??

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2011 07:05 AM #2

    I have been somewhat quiet here recently, but reading daily, thinking, and wondering….

    Thoughts:

    One - the ENTIRE world now sees “innovation” as merely waiting and watching for Apple to do something, anything. Then IMMEDIATELY desperately, trying to clone, copy, steal, mimic, and duplicate anything and everything. From physical design, to layout, to marketing, to stores, to apps, you name it, they just slavishly copy it. To me that is very disturbing, not only as an apple shareholder of many years, but for the utter LACK of outside innovation and creativity. Has the world gone downhill THAT FAR so fast?

    Two - Apple is held to standards of perfection. ANY little glitch makes headline news everywhere. Whilst major MASSIVE screw ups by the competition is pretty much overlooked and ignored. This gets OLD really fast.

    Three - the BEST performing company in America, in sales, profits, and execution sees its stock trading like a public utility in P/E and other metrics, whilst other LESS deserving outfits, some a one-trick-pony, see multiples of 30-100. I daily sit here in wonderment, as the WS whores, the “nibble you to death, Algo’s” ruthlessly steal ANY profit, within seconds, punish you for good news and utterly destroy you on ANY bad news. It is as if FUNDAMENTALS, how a company actually does, counts for squat, as the entire herd, runs this way for six hours, then reverses 180 degrees and runs that way for six hours, or frankly, six MINUTES anymore.

    I could, and want to go on moaning for a few more pages, but enough is enough.

    Count me disgusted.

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    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2011 09:07 AM #3

    TanToday - 16 June 2011 10:05 AM

    I have been somewhat quiet here recently, but reading daily, thinking, and wondering….

    Thoughts:

    One - the ENTIRE world now sees “innovation” as merely waiting and watching for Apple to do something, anything. Then IMMEDIATELY desperately, trying to clone, copy, steal, mimic, and duplicate anything and everything. From physical design, to layout, to marketing, to stores, to apps, you name it, they just slavishly copy it. To me that is very disturbing, not only as an apple shareholder of many years, but for the utter LACK of outside innovation and creativity. Has the world gone downhill THAT FAR so fast?

    Two - Apple is held to standards of perfection. ANY little glitch makes headline news everywhere. Whilst major MASSIVE screw ups by the competition is pretty much overlooked and ignored. This gets OLD really fast.

    Three - the BEST performing company in America, in sales, profits, and execution sees its stock trading like a public utility in P/E and other metrics, whilst other LESS deserving outfits, some a one-trick-pony, see multiples of 30-100. I daily sit here in wonderment, as the WS whores, the “nibble you to death, Algo’s” ruthlessly steal ANY profit, within seconds, punish you for good news and utterly destroy you on ANY bad news. It is as if
    FUNDAMENTALS, how a company actually does, counts for squat, as the entire herd, runs this way for six hours, then reverses 180 degrees and runs that way for six hours, or frankly, six MINUTES anymore.

    I could, and want to go on moaning for a few more pages, but enough is enough.

    Count me disgusted.

    All very valid points TanToday.  If I might add a thought to your point 3, the hedgies, algos, HFT and the like have become the new FUNDAMENTALS. Greed in many forms caused the near financial collapse of the US economy and left many investors demoralized.  Those who did not lose everything are quite shy about getting back in to the markets.  I believe the lack of investor conviction and what I perceive as money on the sidelines only encourages those who “game” the system to continue unchecked.  I am afraid this won’t end anytime soon.  As a buy and hold kind of guy, I hope and pray that my time horizon is long enough to see stocks like Apple catch up to their proper fundamental valuations.

         
  • Posted: 16 June 2011 10:23 AM #4

    Apple always intended HTML5 to be an open platform. Apple needs it to be a viable platform long term to avoid antitrust issues with IOS and the App store.

    I think this is more Facebook quickly responding to IOS/Twitter integration. And it’s a good thing, because (if it works) it will show that it is possible to have a viable alternative Application ecosystem.

    I’m sure Apple also talked to Facebook about IOS integration. Facebook must have said no.

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2011 10:31 AM #5

    FB needs a plan fast to make more money as user growth starts to falter. With an IPO in the wings WS will want to see some serious profits.  Selling apps and services via their site, sounds good but they are just becoming another google.


    People on FB don’t care about anything about the games and connecting with FB friends.  This plan won’t work in my view.  In fact it will back fire as their site becomes too commercialized and it will turn people off. 


    Apple is giving up on MobileMe and iWeb to focus on the cloud.  In two years I see them revamping iWeb with a clean easy to use interface that gives people the option to make it a more social system.

         
  • Posted: 16 June 2011 10:38 AM #6

    sleepygeek - 16 June 2011 01:23 PM

    Apple always intended HTML5 to be an open platform. Apple needs it to be a viable platform long term to avoid antitrust issues with IOS and the App store.

    I think this is more Facebook quickly responding to IOS/Twitter integration. And it’s a good thing, because (if it works) it will show that it is possible to have a viable alternative Application ecosystem.

    I’m sure Apple also talked to Facebook about IOS integration. Facebook must have said no.

    Pretty certain that I saw some screenshots (I think from All things D) of Facebook and other integration in at the same level as the Twitter Integration… Will see if I can find.

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  • Posted: 16 June 2011 10:41 AM #7

    Yup, here is the article:

    http://allthingsd.com/20110609/surprise-apple-has-also-built-social-contact-integration-with-facebook-flickr-linkedin-and-myspace-into-ios-5/

    Surprise! Apple Has Also Built Social Contact Integration With Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn and Myspace Into iOS 5
    JUNE 9, 2011 AT 3:35 PM PT

    Apple rather publicly aligned itself with Twitter this week, announcing that Twitter accounts would be deeply integrated into version 5 of its operating system for iPhone, iPod and iPad. But the developer release of iOS 5 shows that other social Web services will also be included, though to a lesser extent.
    The contact information page in the iOS 5 address book has a field not just for Twitter, but also offers space to add friends? handles on Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn and Myspace.
    Alongside a person?s email address and phone number, an iOS user can also add links to their accounts around the Web. Then Apple auto-populates the URL for each of the services. Clicking on the account name opens up Safari to that person?s profile page.
    AllThingsD confirmed the feature?s existence after a developer mentioned it to us. It?s not hidden in the source code or anything, but plain for users of the developer beta to see.
    The developer, who asked not to be named, pointed out that the social integrations are a bit buggy. For instance, adding a Myspace handle brings up an unlimited number of fields, and the social fields only come up when you create a new contact. But again, this is a developer release.

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  • Posted: 16 June 2011 11:24 AM #8

    TanToday - 16 June 2011 10:05 AM

    I have been somewhat quiet here recently, but reading daily, thinking, and wondering….

    You contributions have been missed.

    [ Edited: 16 June 2011 11:48 AM by FalKirk ]      
  • Posted: 16 June 2011 11:46 AM #9

    TanToday - 16 June 2011 10:05 AM

    I have been somewhat quiet here recently, but reading daily, thinking, and wondering….

    Thoughts:

    One - the ENTIRE world now sees “innovation” as merely waiting and watching for Apple to do something, anything. Then IMMEDIATELY desperately, trying to clone, copy, steal, mimic, and duplicate anything and everything. From physical design, to layout, to marketing, to stores, to apps, you name it, they just slavishly copy it. To me that is very disturbing, not only as an apple shareholder of many years, but for the utter LACK of outside innovation and creativity. Has the world gone downhill THAT FAR so fast?

    Two - Apple is held to standards of perfection. ANY little glitch makes headline news everywhere. Whilst major MASSIVE screw ups by the competition is pretty much overlooked and ignored. This gets OLD really fast.

    Three - the BEST performing company in America, in sales, profits, and execution sees its stock trading like a public utility in P/E and other metrics, whilst other LESS deserving outfits, some a one-trick-pony, see multiples of 30-100. I daily sit here in wonderment, as the WS whores, the “nibble you to death, Algo’s” ruthlessly steal ANY profit, within seconds, punish you for good news and utterly destroy you on ANY bad news. It is as if FUNDAMENTALS, how a company actually does, counts for squat, as the entire herd, runs this way for six hours, then reverses 180 degrees and runs that way for six hours, or frankly, six MINUTES anymore.

    I could, and want to go on moaning for a few more pages, but enough is enough.

    Count me disgusted.

    Could…not…agree…more…

         
  • Posted: 16 June 2011 11:53 AM #10

    The day that I perform any transaction involving my bank accounts on Facebook is the day I have lost my mind.  In that event please shoot me in the head and put me out of my misery.

    Facebook is so riddled with scams and security breaches, their security settings so confusing, and their tolerance of abusive applications so amazing that anyone who would risk money on a transaction there would be totally insane.

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2011 12:16 PM #11

    sleepygeek - 16 June 2011 01:23 PM

    Apple always intended HTML5 to be an open platform. Apple needs it to be a viable platform long term to avoid antitrust issues with IOS and the App store.

    Yes! When Google Voice was initially rejected from the App Store, Google released a browser-based version. Financial Times is going the same route to avoid Apple’s subscription rules and Playboy did it to bypass other App Store rules. But these are still apps designed to run on Apple devices. This simply expands the content available to iOS devices. I see little downside for Apple. I doubt app developers will suddenly abandon Apple’s dev tools for Facebook’s.

         
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    Posted: 16 June 2011 12:52 PM #12

    FalKirk - 16 June 2011 02:24 PM
    TanToday - 16 June 2011 10:05 AM

    I have been somewhat quiet here recently, but reading daily, thinking, and wondering….

    You contributions have been missed.

    For over 20 years, I have actually owned discussion sites { even pre-internet, Compuserve } and still do to this day, and daily did dozens of posts on those, and others. However here, on TMO, I have been awestruck at the quality, and insight that you wonderful guys have managed to crank out daily.

    My investing style, shaped by over 30 years as a commercial property manager, builder, and developer, broker is skewed more towards the long term fundamentals of a company, than the minutae and daily twists and jiggles of the charts.

    Sadly, LONG TERM planning, investing, and building anything is a lost and dying artform, I believe. Today, most everything is faster, shorter, and concatenated into a microtimeframe, even to the microsecond with the HFT whores out there.

    Where does a country go, when NO ONE AT ALL, plans longterm, is patient for planning to be effectively implemented to fruition? Where the touted business “stars” are the ones that hit grab smash and dash, caring not a whit for the nation, their companies, OR their fellow man on Main Street USA?

    And most disturbingly of all for me, at the ripe age of 62 is watching COMMUNIST nations, outplan us, outhustle us, outperform what formerly was the shining star CAPITALIST nation on earth?

    [ Edited: 16 June 2011 12:55 PM by TanToday ]

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    “Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit. . ” —#162 Ferengi: Rules of Acquisition

         
  • Posted: 16 June 2011 01:23 PM #13

    TanToday - 16 June 2011 10:05 AM

    I have been somewhat quiet here recently, but reading daily, thinking, and wondering….

    Thoughts:

    Three - the BEST performing company in America, in sales, profits, and execution sees its stock trading like a public utility in P/E and other metrics, whilst other LESS deserving outfits, some a one-trick-pony, see multiples of 30-100. I daily sit here in wonderment, as the WS whores, the “nibble you to death, Algo’s” ruthlessly steal ANY profit, within seconds, punish you for good news and utterly destroy you on ANY bad news. It is as if FUNDAMENTALS, how a company actually does, counts for squat, as the entire herd, runs this way for six hours, then reverses 180 degrees and runs that way for six hours, or frankly, six MINUTES anymore.

    I could, and want to go on moaning for a few more pages, but enough is enough.

    Count me disgusted.

    I believe, as others have said, that the low P/E ratio has a lot to do with AAPL’s high price.  AAPL just seems, psychologically to many, just expensive and thus not like other stocks.

    A split, whenever it comes, would be big news.

         
  • Posted: 18 June 2011 02:51 PM #14

    I guess I could see some value in a web-based framework for more quickly developing web apps. (ie. JavaScript/HTML5-based APIs) But I think it’s wrong to see it as a real jab at the app store, since you can already save web apps as icons on your home screen. It seems that all this project is doing is simplifying development of web apps.

    [ Edited: 18 June 2011 02:55 PM by David Nelson ]      
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    Posted: 18 June 2011 03:01 PM #15

    Apple has always encouraged developers to use HTML/CSS/JavaScript. In fact, that was the only option available to iPhone developers for the first gen. iPhone. Although it might be accurate to say this “thwarts” the App Store, it does not thwart sales of iOS devices.

    I very much doubt many developers will be leaving Apple’s development environment to go all-in for HTML et al. You don’t abandon something that has paid out $2.5 billion in 3 yrs.

    Here’s what Steve Jobs wrote in his “Thoughts on Flash” open letter:

    “Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript ? all open standards. Apple?s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.”