A failed HP tablet may have been behind a near fallout between Apple and Facebook, Mashable reports. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg had reportedly promised Steve Jobs that the company would be releasing their first ever tablet app for the iPad. Jobs, however, learnt that Facebook was on its way to release a native webOS app for the HP TouchPad, which obviously didn’t go too well with him.
Apple and Facebook’s relationship has seen a number of ups and downs in the past few years. It started with Apple setting up an “Apple Students” group on Facebook back in 2006, after which a number of other Apple accounts found their way onto the social network. However things turned a little sour when Apple and Facebook couldn’t reach at an agreement with regard to deep Facebook integration in iOS 4 and Ping.
Three months ago, Jobs tried to resolve issues between the two companies by paying a visit to Facebook’s headquarters to discuss Facebook’s iPad app. On learning that Facebook was working with HP to develop a native webOS Facebook app, the already strained relationship between the two companies took a turn for the worse. Mashable reports:
When Jobs learned of the webOS Facebook app during his summer visit to Facebook, he was livid. Zuckerberg vowed to get the app pulled. But Jon Rubinstein, the former CEO of Palm and then the GM of HP’s webOS division, refused to halt the release of the app. Facebook responded by restricting HP’s access to its APIs — just as it had done with Apple’s Ping, a year earlier.
Was Facebook playing both sides? Absolutely, says a source close to HP. Facebook was made aware of the application and device integrations. The company knew what was coming, changed its tune right before release — and only did so to appease Apple.
The Facebook app that eventually launched for the TouchPad was an unofficial build that wasn’t too well received.
As of now, the two companies aligned interests to combat Google has led them to join hands and work on Facebook’s HTML5 codenamed “Project Spartan” which, if rumors are to be believed, would launch at Apple’s media event on October 4th along with Facebook’s iPad app.
Also interesting is the chain of events that led to Ping being launched without Facebook integration:
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.
We just hope, nothing else goes wrong between the two companies until October 4th.