The New York Times are reporting on a rumour that Facebook is moving strongly forward on its plans to create their own smartphone.
Apparently Mark Zuckerberg is concerned that â€œâ€¦if he doesnâ€™t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms,â€ a Facebook employee said.
The result is Facebook trying to hire multiple current and previous iPhone hardware and software engineers and expanding and deepening Project Buffy, their current work with HTC to create a phone powered by Facebook.
In a statement Facebook merely said â€œWeâ€™re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers.â€
One Facebook employee said the phone project had been rebooted several times because Facebook originally thought it could figure out hardware on its own. The company has since learned that it needed to bring in people with phone-making experience, several people said. So it is hiring hardware engineers to work with a phone manufacturer and design the shape, style and inner workings of a Facebook phone.
A rumour from the 8th May has Microsoft trying to convince Facebook to go with Windows Phone rather than a modified version of Android, which is after all created by their biggest competitor. Windows Phone of course already feature heavy Facebook integration.
Gartner expects such a phone to be low cost and subsidized by Facebook advertising.
â€œWhen you offer an advertising-based phone, youâ€™re targeting all the users on prepay that are budget-conscious of their communications costs,â€ said Carolina Milanesi, a vice president and analyst for the Gartner Group.
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Read more at NYTimes here.