HP's TouchPad Behind Delays in Facebook iPad App Launch?
Mashable offers an inside look at the relationship between Apple and Facebook, exploring how HP's effort to bring a dedicated Facebook application to the TouchPad resulted in a severe falling out of the already-strained relationship between Apple and Facebook.
While the relationship has apparently been mended and the two companies are planning a Tuesday launch of Facebook's iPad app, a revamped iPhone app, and new HTML5-based web services, Apple and Facebook have a long history of being at odds.
The report notes that issues date back to the release of iOS 4 last year, when Apple was planning to integrate Facebook across the operating system. But negotiations between Apple and Facebook over the APIs to be used for the integration apparently broke down and Apple pulled the feature from iOS 4. That incident led to growing mistrust between the two companies that further manifested itself in issues over Facebook apps for iOS and Facebook integration being pulled from Apple's Ping social networking service for iTunes.
Nearly a year later, those hard feelings still framed discussions between the two companies, and a personal visit by Steve Jobs to Facebook's headquarters led to an additional blowup when Jobs learned that HP was planning a native webOS Facebook application for its TouchPad tablet.
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.
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.
Sources indicate that Facebook was fully aware of the positions and plans of both Apple and HP, but was attempting to play both sides for maximum benefit and only turned its back on HP when it became clear that its relationship with Apple was in danger of disintegrating completely.
With HP and TouchPad now out of the picture, Apple and Facebook have reportedly patched up their differences in the face of a common threat from Google, and sources indicate that "this is the closest Apple and Facebook have been to creating something meaningful together". The two companies are said to be "scrambling" to pull together their announcement for Tuesday's iPhone media event.