The HP TouchPad nearly brought the Apple-Facebook relationship to an end (rumor)
The relationship between Apple and Facebook is widely acknowledged to be strained. Neither company has ever stated this publicly, but several examples have demonstrated this. According to recent rumors, there has been a turnaround in recent months, and we will witness the results next week. Meanwhile, Mashable has uncovered even another reason for the two’s inability to bond: the HP TouchPad.
Over three months ago, Apple CEO (at the time) Steve Jobs reportedly went to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to shout at him about the HP TouchPad, escalating the rivalry between the two businesses. During a summer visit to Palo Alto, Jobs was enraged to learn about the webOS Facebook app.
Apple preferred Facebook on the iPad, whereas HP preferred Facebook on the TouchPad. Jobs had assured Zuckerberg that the company’s first tablet software would be on the iPad.
As a result, Jobs feared that Facebook was betraying Apple. Facebook creates its apps for iOS and Android, while HP, RIM, and Microsoft create Facebook apps for webOS, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Phone.
Facebook was more concerned with mending its rift with Apple than with strengthening its relationships with HP. In Fearing that his company’s relationship with Apple would be permanently damaged, Zuckerberg promised to have the app removed. He was unable to succeed.
Former Palm CEO and then-GM of HP’s webOS division, Jon Rubinstein, refused to put a stop to it. Facebook retaliated by blocking HP’s API access.
On July 1, the production model of the app was released (screenshots leaked a few days earlier). It was essentially a hacked version that lacked important functionality.
According to a source close to HP, Facebook was playing both sides to gain maximum visibility on both platforms. Facebook was aware of HP’s social media app but changed its mind at the last minute to placate Apple.
HP hoped that the software would set the TouchPad apart from other tablets on the market. According to another source, HP was considering legal action, but that is unlikely to happen now that the TouchPad has been withdrawn.
There have been at least two past events that have resulted in animosity between the two companies, according to what we’ve heard. The first was about iOS, while the second was about Ping.
iOS 4 was planned to include Facebook integration. Cupertino wanted to design its Facebook features since it didn’t trust Palo Alto to build a good app, so it integrated Facebook into its mobile operating system. Negotiations came to a halt when Facebook said no. After that, in iOS 5, Apple went with Twitter.
Following that, Apple released Ping, which included Facebook integration, but did not receive approval from the social media behemoth. Because Cupertino didn’t give Palo Alto any notice about the feature, which would have cost Facebook a lot of bandwidth, Facebook declined Apple’s request to use Facebook Connect in Ping. The integration was forced to be removed by Apple.
However, the relationship between the two tech behemoths is beginning to improve, probably because they both have a common foe in Google. Apple does not have a social network, while Facebook does not have a mobile platform.
According to rumors, the two will finally show off some important things next week: Facebook will finally release its iPad app, as well as its HTML5 app framework, likely at Apple’s iPhone 5 announcement on Tuesday. It’s only a matter of time.