In short: Facebook is reportedly going to be unveiling its competitor to Amazon’s Echo Show next week. The report also mentions that the Cambridge Analytica scandal from earlier this week delayed the launch of the device, which is being called “Portal”. It’s unclear if Portal is going to be its marketed name, or if that is just an internal term used for the device. The report cites that Portal will be available in two screen sizes, though the exact sizes were not mentioned, pricing was. It is expected that the smaller version will be priced around $300 and the larger one priced around $400. That would make Portal a bit more expensive than the Echo Show which just got a larger screen for the same $229 price tag. There’s not much known about Portal just yet, but it is expected to have similar functionality to the Echo Show and include some social features.
Background: Reportedly, Facebook had planned to announce Portal at F8 back in May, which is Facebook’s annual developer conference. But then news broke about Cambridge Analytica’s data breach, and how it harvested data from Facebook to help influence the election in favor of Donald Trump back in 2016. That of course led to a huge dive in Facebook’s stock price, but it also resulted in Facebook executives shelving the announcement just before the conference. Which was likely a good idea, seeing as Facebook was already under a microscope for all of the data that other companies were able to grab pretty easily.
Impact: Portal would be Facebook’s first hardware that it has made, outside of Oculus. Which would be a pretty big step for Facebook. In the past, there have been a Facebook phone or two, but those were actually made by HTC, and not Facebook. This device would be entirely made by Facebook. It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction is to Portal when it does debut, if that is this coming week or not.
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