Is Facebook on its way to producing its very own smartphone?


By Noel Young | Correspondent

May 27, 2012 | 3 min read

Facebook could be on the way to producing its own cellphone as early as next year, says the New York Times . The informants are the usual "people close to the company" but that has been good enough in the past.

New Facebook phone?

Facebook has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, said the NYT.

This is not the first time "Facebook" and "cellphone" have been mentioned in the same breath. In 2010, the blog TechCrunch reported Facebook was working on a phone but that appeared to go no further.

Then last year AllThingsD reported that Facebook and Taiwanese firm HTC had entered a partnership to create a smartphone, code-named “Buffy,” which is "still in the works" as the saying goes.

Facebook has been going deeper into the process, by expanding the group working on “Buffy,” and exploring other smartphone projects too, creating a team of seasoned hardware engineers who have built the devices before, said the NYT.

One engineer who had worked on the iPhone told the Times he met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, who "peppered him with questions." Facebook did not deny or confirm a smartphone project when asked by the Times on Friday, but pointed that they had told AllThingsD last year . “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers.”

Mobile is one of the most promising areas for growth in the modern high-tech world , especially for a new public company. As one Facebook employee told the NYT,“Mark is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future, Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,”

Last week, Google's acquisition of hardware maker Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion was competed - which could lead to Motorola making its own smartphone.


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +