According to a report by The New York Times, Facebook could be in the process of launching its very own smartphone as early as next year.
This report comes just under a week after search engine Google entered the hardware business with its $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility, which could lead to it manufacturing its own smartphone to run its Android operating system.
According to the report, employees that have been briefed on the matter have revealed that engineers have been recruited by Facebook to begin building the hardware for the new phone. In addition, the company has also hired former Apple software and hardware engineers who have worked on the iPhone and iPad.
This is not the first time that Facebook’s plans to build its own smartphone have made it to the media. In 2010, it was reported that Facebook was working on its very own phone, but the project fell apart when the company realized how much work was involved in the process. In 2011, another website, AllThingsD reported that Facebook and HTC had entered into a partnership to create a phone codenamed “Buffy” which is still believed to be “in the works”.
According to the report, Facebook did not deny or confirm it was involved in a project to build a smartphone but pointed to a previous statement it gave last year to AllThingsD that said in part, “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers.”
Facebook recently introduced Facebook Camera, a new mobile phone application for iOS similar to that of Instagram.
What do you think of the idea of Facebook building its own smartphone?