Facebook reportedly hopes to launch smartphone by next year, hiring former Apple engineers to help

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| May 27, 2012

Facebook apps

Facebook has made some big news so far in 2012, including paying $1 billion for Instagram and holding an initial public offering of its stock, and now a new report has suggested that the company may soon be making another major move. According to sources speaking to The New York Times, Facebook is planning to release its own smartphone by next year. The tipsters, which reportedly include both Facebook employees and others familiar with the company's plans, say that Facebook has hired several Apple software and hardware engineers to work on the project, including ones that've worked on the iPhone and iPad. One Facebook worker told the NYT that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is concerned that Facebook will "simply become an app on other mobile platforms" if the social network doesn't create a smartphone of its own.

This certainly isn't the first time that rumors of a Facebook-made phone have surfaced, despite the fact that Mark Zuckerberg has denied those reports on multiple occasions. One of the NYT's sources claims that this is actually Facebook's third attempt at crafting its own smartphone, with another person adding that the project had to be started over because the company originally thought that it could figure out how to make hardware on its own. Now Facebook has reportedly grown the team working on its "Buffy" project that was rumored last year, and with assets like Instagram and former Apple engineers, it'd definitely be interesting to see what kind of smartphone Facebook could churn out. Any of you think you'd check out a Facebook-built smartphone?

Via The New York Times