Rumors of a Facbeook phone are back in the news today as a new report says that the social media company is making a strong push to release its own phone in 2013.
The NY Times reports that Facebook has hired several engineers (most of which worked on the iPhone or the iPad) in order to design their own phone.
Rumors about the Facebook Phone have been floating around for years and according to Tech Crunch, this will be the third time that the company has attempted to build a smartphone. In 2010, the company abandoned plans for a smart phone after realizing that they had bitten off more than they could chew. Last year, Facebook and HTC entered into a partnership to create a phone. The project, code-named “Buffy,” is apparently still in the works.
Facebook has reportedly expanded the “Buffy” team and is also exploring new phone projects with a team of experienced engineers. The company hopes to have a product on the market next year.
A Facebook employee said:
“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.”
Despite the company’s efforts, some are skeptical that Facebook will be able to create its own phone. Hugo Fiennes, an engineer who worked on the first four iPhones, told the NY Times:
“Building (a phone) isn’t something you can just jump into. You change the smallest thing on a smartphone and you can completely change how all the antennas work. You don’t learn this unless you’ve been doing it for a while… Going into the phone business is incredibly complex.”
Would you be interested in a Facebook phone?