Facebook working on new smartphone

A Facebook phone? Where have we hard that before? In  quite a few instances to be honest, but mainly with phones that have had deep integration with Facebook, such as the INQ Cloud Touch (pictured on this page), HTC ChaCha and the Vodafone 555 to name just a few. But this time, it's different.

No really, it is. At least it is according to the New York Times. It claims employees of Facebook and several engineers who have been sought out by recruiters there have been briefed on Facebook’s plans, which point to some new hardware being launched next year.

Those new recruits include more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad. So you can see where Facebook might be going with this.

Interestingly, this is the third attempt to get into the hardware game. The first was shelved after the company realised the difficulties involved. After that, Facebook was said to have signed a deal with HTC to produce the HTC Buffy phone. That might still be in the works and land some time before this new phone.

Why is Facebook working on its own handset now? Well, it seems to be worried about being sidelined in the mobile sector: 'Mark (Zuckerberg) is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,' a Facebook employee said.

With the phone still being in the ideas stage, there is little information to go on, but this is likely to be a growing story as this year and next continues. We'll certainly keep you posted.

Source: New York Times

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