Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jay-yong on Tuesday in Seoul, fueling rumors that the two firms are discussing the final details of Facebook-exclusive phones.
According to multiple sources on Tuesday, the two met at the Korean tech giant’s Seoul headquarters and then held a dinner meeting, which was reportedly joined by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Samsung’s mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun and other executives from both companies.
Their meeting came three months after the two met in July at the Allen & Co. conference in Idaho, U.S. It is the two’s third meeting this year alone.
Tuesday’s meeting also raised speculations that Samsung and Facebook could soon reveal a new form of smartphone gadget, which is being called the “Facebook phone” by local media.
Industry watchers say the two firms’ smartphone collaboration will bring tangible benefits for both companies, as Facebook continues to find a new growth engine while Samsung’s smartphone business is being threatened by its Chinese rivals such as Xiaomi and Huawei.
Samsung has already proven its tight relationship with Facebook by launching the Samsung Gear VR in partnership with Facebook-owned virtual-reality technology company Oculus last month.
Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, has suffered a third-quarter earnings collapse, with an almost 60 percent drop from a year earlier due to sluggish sales in its key smartphone business.
By Suk Gee-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)