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. Hasn’t iOS devices always supported web apps??? The significant absence of developers there suggests folks prefer native apps. Plus, web apps are restricted because they have to be built for the lowest common denominator.

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