Apple reportedly helping Facebook with HTML5 app platform 'Project Spartan'

Firm offering rival 'minor support'

Apple reportedly helping Facebook with HTML5 app platform 'Project Spartan'
In a move that was as potentially significant as it was intriguing, TechCrunch recently published a fascinating exposé on Facebook’s intention to ride into Apple's iOS town and set up a market stall all of its own for app developers.

According to the writer MG Siegler, The Social Network's marketplace, codenamed 'Project Spartan', would be delivered by HTML5 and therefore be compatible with the iPhone and iPad’s mobile browser, Safari.

Siegler's report on an unannounced (yet seen at first hand by the writer) app distribution platform apparently stirred the loins of Facebook’s PR team, who attempted to dampen any speculation by informing tech writers that there was essentially 'nothing to see here, you can move on'.

Damage limitation

In response, Siegler has written a follow-up piece, suggesting that Facebook may be concealing this project to avoid raising Apple’s ire…at least for the moment.

"One source familiar with the relationship between both sides compares Apple's treatment of Facebook to an 'abusive spouse'," Siegler notes.

"Facebook has pissed off Apple in the past, and it has had ramifications. They have to tread lightly here."

The strange thing is, though, that Apple is reportedly not only aware of Facebook's Project Spartan plans - despite not knowing its "full extent" - but is also "lending some minor support" to the HTML5-based service.

Trojan War

If Apple wasn't necessarily cognisant of Facebook's overall objectives with Spartan, which stretch to in-app purchases via Facebook Credits, then it certainly will be now.

Any danger of Facebook's HTML5 app store posing as a Trojan Horse rolling into Apple's carefully curated platform then has presumably been eradicated.

Before it's even crept into Cupertino.

[source: TechCrunch]

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