Facebook hiring iPhone engineers

Social network looking to release its own smartphone next year

A new report suggests that social network Facebook has hired a number of Apple iPhone engineers, as it steps up work on a smartphone code-named Buffy.

According to the The New York Times the Apple engineers represent both hardware and software backgrounds, with one iPad engineer also included in the mix.

"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 told the site.

Facebook employees also said the phone is aiming for a 2013 release, and phone manufacturer HTC is part of the partnership.

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Latest comments (3)

John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London5 years ago
Not sure why we or they need a Facebook phone, surely it would be better to just integrate the site better into existing phones? The Facebook mobile phone app is shockingly bad - slow, unreliable, and missing lots of functionality. I usually find it better to browse the full web version of Facebook on my Android phone than use their app, although all the point and hover functions they have on the site and the messy layout and profusion of pop-up windows makes that tricky too. Let's hope they're improving that side of things before trying to build an entire phone around it...
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game5 years ago
Facebook is already fairly well integrated into WP7, your Facebook friends and contacts are integrated, texting,msn and FB personal messaging are done from one messaging tile, there is a personal tile that allows you to view your wall and update status without using a dedicated app or is, and your fb photos are viewable in your photos. It's hard to see how much more a fb phone will let you do, other than maybe playing Farmville without a native app.
If Facebook goes too far with its own phone, will it be at the detriment of relationships with iOS and Android, or will it use modified Android like the Kindle Fire?

I really don't see how creating a mobile phone in the near future so that Facebook will not simply become an app on other mobile platforms (to paraphrase), will be of benefit unless they are going to get a massive market share, which I would think would be difficult when it is sold on the strength of FB, which who his available on every competitor, and in the case of WP7, done very well. Perhaps improving the cruddy official FB smartphone apps would be a much better use of resource.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus5 years ago
Who in their right mind would buy a Facebook phone? We're already worried about the tracking that our Android and Apple phones go through. We're going to buy a Facebook phone, where that kind of thing is baked in!?

Then again, when I consider most of my own Facebook friends... they're not smart enough to care. So yeah, I can see this succeeding.
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