Facebook launches “Facebook for Every Phone” Java app for feature phones

Jul 15, 2011 by Bob Yirka report

With all the noise made by smartphone makers and their apps, you'd almost think that smartphones dominate the world cell phone market, but you'd be wrong, it’s actually something called the feature phone; a not quite dumb cell phone, but not a smartphone either, it’s something in-between.

Unlike dumb cell phones, that can't do much of anything but place telephone calls, or smartphones that are really just little computers running an operating system (iOS, Android, etc.), feature phones are relatively inexpensive devices that rely on apps alone to provide services to their users. And while smartphone sales are expected to surpass those for feature phones in the United States this year, the same cannot be said for worldwide sales, and this is why has launched an app that it says, will work on almost any feature phone across the globe; well, except maybe many of those in the U.S. This is because it’s a Java based app, and many feature phones in the U.S. are based on something called the BREW platform which does not natively include a virtual machine.

The new app, called “Facebook for Every Phone” will allow users around the world, (Facebook now claims to have 750 million active users worldwide, 80% of them outside the U.S) to find their Facebook friends, view their inbox and newsfeeds and to view and upload photos.

Facebook says the app will be useable by some 2,500 different phone models and at least 20 global carriers in countries such as Germany, the U.K., India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, and Brazil.

As part of the release, Facebook also said that it will pay for the first 90 days of data transmission incurred by users of the app, which can be purchased in app stores or can be downloaded at m.facebook.com; the app has been optimized to minimize data use, Facebook says, and so users should find it relatively inexpensive to use.

Also, noting that there are still an awful lot of feature phone users in the U.S. Facebook has also stated as part of its announcement, that it intends to extend it it’s app to even more handsets in the future, which if it comes to fruition, certainly would make the ’s moniker, ring a little more true.

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