If you’ve been breathlessly waiting for Facebook to release an app for your iPad, you might want to take a deep breath because you could be waiting for awhile.
Facebook Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, surprised a roomful of tech journalists yesterday during a company event focused on mobility when he snapped at a reporter’s question inquiring about a native app for the iPad .
"iPad is not mobile," said Zuckerberg. "Next question."
Really? Well, engineers down the road in Cupertino might be surprised to hear that considering Apple has positioned the popular tablet as a device for users to carry with them to access information and entertainment anywhere there is Wi-Fi (or anywhere if you have a 3G iPad ).
Indeed, technically speaking the iPad is a computer. And so are smartphones in that sense, but pigeonholing the iPad as something completely other than a mobile device, is akin to saying that Facebook is just a Web portal where teenagers trade pictures and gossip. It’s just not the whole story.
At first Zuckerberg persisted. "It’s not mobile, it’s a different thing," he insisted. "It’s a computer. Sorry."
At that point, Facebook's Vice President of Mobility Erik Tseng, took the microphone, as well as a more nuanced approach, explaining to the audience that the company is still trying to figure out its approach and strategy for tablet devices.
"It's not just about an iPad, it's about a new class of devices," said Tseng. "There is a bigger question at hand, and with our very limited resources here at Facebook, how do we tackle this new category? It's just a matter of time before we start seeing similar looking things coming from Android and potentially other platforms. So there is broader question of how we scale for other tablet form factors."
Zuckerberg, perhaps sensing he had stirred up some controversy with his comments, backpedaled a bit saying, "I didn't mean to be rude towards Apple . We all love Apple products here, and we want to work with them and all that."
And then he left one more parting shot.
"The iPad is not a mobile platform in the same way a iPhone is," he said.