Sure, smartphones get all the headlines these days, but what about devices on the other end of the bell curve?
Good, old-fashioned feature phones are the focus of Facebook’s latest acquisition, which was confirmed this morning by the company being acquired: Snaptu. The mobile startup, based in Israel, makes apps including Facebook, Twitter, Picassa and others for cell phones.
Facebook and Snaptu previously teamed on “Facebook for Feature Phones”.
“We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development,” writes Snaptu in its blog post. “And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world.”
Guesses on the purchase price range from $40 million to $70 million. The deal is expected to close in a few weeks, according to the post. It’s the third known acquisition by Facebook this year, following deals for Seattle-based startup Rel8tion and group messaging company Beluga.
Microsoft, a minority investor in Facebook, launched a similar feature-phone project called OneApp two years ago for developing nations, although a CNet News.com report last year raised questions about OneApp’s future. The news of the Facebook-Snaptu deal this morning prompted us to check with Microsoft about the status of OneApp, and we’ll update this post depending on what we hear back.