The Rocky Relationship Between Apple and Facebook [Report]

The Rocky Relationship Between Apple and Facebook [Report]

Apple and Facebook are two tech titans that have been known to butt heads every now and then. When Apple introduced the Ping social network in iTunes, Facebook denied Apple access to integrate the two networks. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Ping is just one example — there have been multiple talks behind closed doors that have resulted in the two companies almost parting ways for good.

Over the weekend, Mashable posted inside information on the convoluted history of Apple and Facebook. Stories include the Facebook integration in iOS 4 that never saw the light of day, Steve Jobs paying Mark Zuckerberg a visit about an iPad app, and how Facebook and Apple nearly fell out because of HP.

Recent rumors have suggested that Facebook will be integrated alongside Twitter in iOS 5, but it appears that Apple has been working on Facebook integration for a long time:

“A source familiar with the chain of the events attributes the Ping debacle to a disagreement over iOS 4. Apple had fully integrated Facebook into the iPhone and iPad’s operating system, and was ready to launch the mobile-social fusion when API negotiations broke down. Apple, lacking confidence in Facebook’s ability to build a great application, asked to build its own Facebook for iPhone app. Facebook responded with a firm no. Negotiations came to halt.”

The Facebook iPhone app remains one of the most downloaded apps in the App Store to date, but it’s interesting to think about how things would be different had Apple made its own Facebook app.

According to a developer that worked on the project, Facebook has been sitting on an iPad app for months. Why hasn’t it been released in the App Store? Facebook made no mention of an iPad app at its annual F8 conference a couple of weeks ago. What’s been keeping Zuckerberg from pulling the trigger?

HP is the reason that Facebook has yet to release its iPad app, according to Mashable. This app was such a big deal for all parties involved that Steve Jobs himself payed Zuckerberg a visit recently:

“Roughly three months ago, Steve Jobs — then the Apple CEO — paid a visit to Facebook to discuss a Facebook for iPad application with CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg promised Jobs that the social network would release its first ever tablet application for iPad. Jobs, however, learned during his visit that HP was about to release a native webOS Facebook application for the TouchPad.”

Facebook had been playing both sides. Zuckerberg had been promising Apple an iPad app while at the same time working on an official client for HP’s TouchPad tablet — one of the iPad’s former rivals.

According to Mashable, Jobs was apparently so mad at Facebook over taking sides with HP that Zuckerberg called Jon Rubinstein at HP to pull the Facebook app for the TouchPad. Rubinstein refused to let Facebook halt development, so Facebook restricted HP’s access to its APIs. HP saw Facebook’s app as one of the biggest potential draws for consumers to choose the TouchPad over the iPad. (That didn’t really work out.)

Mashable believes that Apple and Facebook have made amends for the time being:

“Not only are the pair finally aligned on the Facebook for iPad application, but they’ve been working together closely on Facebook’s HTML 5 mobile app platform.

This is the closest Apple and Facebook have been to creating something meaningful together, one source says. They’re partnering because they share a common enemy: Google.”

Interesting. Facebook’s secret “Project Spartan” project could be unveiled this Tuesday. Apple could announce the official Facebook iPad app, or we could all be surprised to learn that Facebook has been completely integrated into iOS 5.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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  • Jfm5049

    So tech titans behave like 13 yr old girls at lunch?

  • Jack Jacobs

    HP developed the Facebook app for the Touchpad, Facebook did not.

  • Chris Killen

    The Social Network 2: Bad Apple

  • Urname

    Zuck is an immature little twat, he should be honoring Steve and Apple.  His social network is annoying and it’s gonna come crashing down on him one day

  • Igor Lebre

    Considering just how bad the current Facebook iPhone app is and how bad the “new” Facebook site is >.> integration would be more of a flaw than a feature. No mater how much work Apple puts into it, “you can polish a turd” is all I’m saying.

  • Alex

    Luckily I have absolutely no use for Facebook .  Hopefully Zuckerberg  will stay out of my Apple products 

  • freighttrain2126

    I know, how does making a touchpad app mean taking sides? I have many clients, most compete with each other but that doesn’t mean i can’t do business with one because I’m doing business with another.

  • baby_Twitty

    Yawn~~~

  • Cold_dead_fingers

    For those insulting Facebook: business is business. If you hate facebook, don’t use it, just know if you care about Apple so much, you won’t dare use Google+ for obvi reasons. Apple is the best tablet maker and phone maker, Facebook is the best social network :P

  • Spam

    facebook sucks and nowhere near on the same level as a Apple. Twitter is good enough and not a total sellout (yet)

  • jmheinrichs

    Or, Apple will be announcing the purchase of a majority stake in Facebook.

    Cheers

  • Hampus

    But they are also two completely different services with very little in common…

  • Tomi

    Disagree… Facebook does NOT SUCKS. It’s the most convenient way[at the moment] for millions of ppl to be “connected” socially with friends and relatives. Twitter, on the other hand, I have never make any sense of using it personally besides following some celebrity. Seriously, blast me if you wish but, to this day I have no understanding of the use of twitter in a personal level. I just don’t get it.

  • Eric

    The only reason why Facebook’s app is so popular, is because it’s the only one of it’s kind out there.  But popular doesn’t mean it’s great.  It’s actually not even that good.  But it’s the only one out there authorized by Facebook.  I don’t trust any app that isn’t regulated and approved by the appropriate people.  I’m sure Apple’s FB app would have been much better.  Classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen.

  • Eric

    It’s the only social network people go on because their friends are on it.  Facebook has put a stranglehold on it’s users.  Many people are pissed off at FB, and want to deactivate their accounts.  But then that would mean they will no longer have that portal to keep contact with their other friends, and so stay on.  And their friends are thinking/worrying about the same thing.  It’s like digital crack.  But it doesn’t make them the best.  You probably hate gas prices the way they are, but I bet you still drive.  You probably hate aspects of your job, but you keep it.  That’s because you’ve grown dependent and gotten in your head it’s a necessity.  It’s the same principle.  So don’t hate on the haters.  They are free to express their views, just as you are.  Just because they complain, doesn’t mean they can stop themselves from using it.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by places like the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too. All DMs excepted.

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