Facebook aims to make technology highly affordable
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has an ambitious vision to make technology products and services more affordable to the masses, especially the poor and under-privileged sections of the society in developing countries like India.
Zuckerberg's goal is to triple the size and reach of the existing social network comprising 1.6 billion users. The first step towards achieving this objective requires the tech industry to find a way of making telecommunications and internet connectivity more accessible as well as affordable.
Both telecom hardware manufacturers and software developers will come under severe pressure in order to cater to the needs of an affordable-tech ecosystem.
"If you’re in hardware, you’re going to reduce head count from thousands to maybe 10 people, a hundred at most,” explains Akshay Sharma, research director at the technology advisory firm Gartner.
With corporate companies unwilling to spend top dollars for buying out tech products from traditional suppliers, the tech industry is gradually inclining towards embracing open-source technology such as Linux and Google's Android operating system.
Facebook has often embraced open-source projects as it does not make money selling products and instead it buys products that help in offering the service, the New York Times reported.
The advent of open-source based service platforms has signalled the doom's day for traditional software giants. For instance, the Sun Microsystems (valued at $110 billion) was sold for a meagre $7.4 billion a decade later, due to rising competition from cheaper open-source platforms like Linux that are capable of running Facebook servers.
Zuckerberg's open-source mantra is driven by the economics of cutting costs in building and running the global telecommunications networks which is estimated to be worth around $150 billion a year.
Jay Parikh, Facebook’s vice president for engineering, had this to say while talking about making technology more affordable:
Our rule is 10 times faster or 10 times cheaper or both. We want to get a full Facebook experience to every end user, whether that is video, or eventually virtual reality.
In its bid to make technology affordable to the masses, Facebook has envisioned the dream of offering TV services over a small app that barely costs $1.
Mike Schroepfer, the company's chief technology officer suggests Facebook's Oculus VR could soon be priced as low as $5, using the new cost-cutting business model. The VR headset currently costs $600 and such a massive price-cut could make virtual reality the primary source of communication, replacing all smartphones in this world.