Facebook's Zuckerberg Disses BlackBerry, Windows Phone
Facebook's (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke on the company's earnings call Wednesday afternoon. During the call, he laid out the way the company views the mobile Internet.
“There are two really big platforms out there,” Zuckerberg started. “Sorry, there are three.”
An astute listener might summarize that the first two he was referring to were Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android. But what was the third? BlackBerry (NASDAQ: RIMM)? Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Phone?
“Android, iOS, and mobile web,” Zuckerberg clarified.
The third mobile platform in Zuckerberg's mind was simply the mobile browser.
To be sure, Zuckerberg was merely speaking the truth: iOS and Android command a dominating percentage of the smartphone market, at least in America. But what do Zuckerberg's comments say about the potential for Windows Phone and BlackBerry going forward?
Facebook is one of the most popular apps on both Apple and Google's respective app stores. So Zuckerberg knows a thing or two about the mobile platform.
As Facebook has a large workforce of talented developers, the company can afford to support a variety of mobile platforms including BlackBerry and Windows Phone. In fact, during BlackBerry's launch event for BB10 Wednesday, the company's CEO Thorsten Heins explicitly noted that the Facebook mobile app would be available for the new operating system.
But fans of BlackBerry and Windows phone shouldn't be worried about Facebook. Rather, they should be concerned about the smaller apps: Those companies that can't afford to support a variety of different platforms.
Although BlackBerry has said that BB10 will launch with about 70,000 apps, as AllThingsD notes, many marquee apps will be missing including Facebook's other property, Instagram, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), Pandora (NYSE: P) and Spotify.
The whole thing underscores what could be the biggest challenge both for BlackBerry and for Microsoft: Has the mobile universe been fully established? Or does the market still have room for a third and fourth operating system?
Shares of BlackBerry lost about 5 percent Thursday, while Microsoft was down about 1 percent.
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