Report: Apple doesn’t fear, actually helping Facebook with ‘Project Spartan’ HTML5 app plan

TechCrunch’s MG Siegler has posted a lengthy article about Facebook’s secret “Project Spartan,” which Siegler says is “clearly aimed to be step one in a maneuver against the companies currently controlling the mobile ecosystem, namely Apple and Google.”

Siegler reports, “Apple knows about Project Spartan, and is believed to even be lending some minor support to the project. Why do that for a project that ultimately hopes to usurp the native App Store and Apple payment model? Because Apple is not afraid of it at all, we’ve heard. And based on some of the HTML5-based Spartan apps I’ve seen, I have to agree. The likelihood users would choose these over a native iPhone app right now, is laughable.”

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“So in mildly supporting Facebook’s efforts here, Apple looks benevolent and smart (while shaking their head and laughing). But I also believe Apple doesn’t know the full extent of the project,” Siegler reports. “Apple may not view Spartan as a threat at all right now — and in fact, it sort of helps them because it is moving popular games, like the ones by Zynga, off of Flash and onto HTML5 — but down the road, that is absolutely what Facebook intends it to be.”

“Still, perhaps Apple is that bearish on HTML5 app development. But others certainly aren’t. Not just Facebook, but many developers, including all the ones working on Spartan,” Siegler reports. “They believe that HTML5 will eventually take down the native model. But perhaps Apple just has the mentality that they’ll deal with that issue when it actually becomes a problem.”

Siegler also reports, “Apple has been working with Facebook on their iPad app, which should finally be available in the next few weeks. Apple has wanted this app since the initial iPad launch just over a year ago… it’s a selling point for the device… There’s no reason it should have taken [so] long, unless they were holding it back as some sort of leverage over Apple.”

Much, much more in the full article here.

Related article:
Project Spartan: Facebook’s secret plan to attack Apple’s iOS App Store – June 17, 2011


  1. Leverage? Yeah right. I can just see millions of people saying to themselves “I was going to buy an iPad but there’s no way I’m going to do it if there’s no Facebook app” Not!

  2. Apple initially tried an HTML only software development model when they released the first iPhone. I still remember the outcry of displeasure. I also still remember the iPhones success really take off once apple released the first SDK.

  3. Why should Apple be concerned? It championed web apps from the start, and still makes its money from iDevices. And no, I don’t believe the App Store was always part of the plan.

    Also, why shouldn’t Android web apps run on iDevices?

    1. I remember that 1st year of the iPhone well!! They started off pushing webapps and even made a website for it. It didn’t work well cause game apps are very laggy in the browser especially at that time. Of course the new hardware will help that somewhat. Still you can’t compare native apps to webapps.

  4. How anyone could think a company, in Apple, at the forefront of the technology industry, and pulling further ahead by the day, could be “afraid” of another tech company just baffles me.

    1. I guess what is truly baffling, perhaps, is that MG Siegler expects the readers to accept the fact that MG Siegler knows more than Apple on what’s good for them.

      For the life of me, I can’t believe that Apple haven’t already replaced their team(s) for future strategies with MG Siegler, a soothsayer if there ever was one.

  5. When are these people going to finally realize apple makes money on hardware the app store, and music store are breakeven buisnesses. Anything that drives hardware sales is welcome they don’t need ad revenue like facebook or google.

    1. Lots of native iOS apps use the internet, too. It’s not like using the gmail web app takes up that much more bandwidth than Mail. Video is problematic item with caps.

  6. In discussions of Spartan or anything similar, proponents seem to forget that all across this continent there are HUGE numbers of people why are not near Wi-Fi and who either have no cell signal or are constantly going in and out of areas where cell is available.

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