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Facebook was all hush hush about a collab with AT&T in 2010, working on a secret phone. However, the info was leaked and landed up as an exclusive in a tech journal with the title ‘Facebook Is Secretly Building A Phone.’ It wasn’t exactly good PR for the social media company that didn’t want to project itself as a competitor in an emerging smartphone market. The article went on to name the developers working on the project, along with their profiles. It stated that Facebook wants to integrate deeply into contact lists and other core functions. It can only achieve this if it controls the OS of the phone. And hence the endeavor. It became a Facebook versus iPhone and Android ecosystem fiasco.

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The journal published the article on September 19, 2010. Three days later, on September 22, FB’s boss, Mark Zuckerberg, sent a distraught email titled – Please Resign. The subhead read – Confidential, Do Not Share. Mark claimed that the company is not working on a secret phone. He wrote that the entire episode was frustrating and destructive. He remarked that Facebook is now in a pickle over the alleged article. We are in a precarious position with mobile companies, who should be our partners, Mark noted. In the mail he further asks the staff who leaked the info to resign immediately. Zuckerberg warned that if the leakster does not resign, then the company will most certainly find out the culprit anyway.

Mark Zuckerberg: “Please Resign”

September 22, 2010

— Internal Tech Emails (@TechEmails) March 19, 2023

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Launched in 2013 with much fanfare, Facebook’s first (and probably the last) phone, the HTC First, didn’t survive for long, despite prices being slashed to $99. The phone had a dedicated Facebook button. So long FB phone!

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