Facebook to launch smartphone next year, poaching Apple engineers to help the cause

Facebook has been a hot topic lately. They recently went public and have been purchasing several companies – namely Instagram for $1 billion. Over the past couple of years the massive social network has been subject to rumours of getting into the smartphone game by producing their own device. Nothing has yet to surface and the closest product to make it to market was the HTC Status that included a “dedicated Facebook button.”

Earlier this year an overseas report via DigiTimes suggested that HTC and Facebook have plans to develop a “customized smartphone” that is rumoured to launch “in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest.”

Today, via the New York Times, a fresh new rumour has surfaced from “people briefed on Facebook’s plans” have stated they intend to launch their own smartphone “next year”. The reason to build the smartphone is to assist them in creating more revenue from mobile, something that is currently missing from their balance sheet. There is no specific timing, but Facebook has reportedly poached over 12 software and hardware engineers from Apple. Facebook gave their typical response, saying that “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers.”

Another report from Business Insider suggested that “Facebook Is Building The Facebook Phone Right In Front Of Our Eyes.” The points are incredibly valid as they note that Facebook has compiled almost all the core apps for a smartphone OS: “Facebook Messager” for the messenger app, recently launched the Facebook app store; “Facebook Camera” was launched this past week and could be the camera app, plus rumours that they might snatch up mobile browser Opera. In addition, with their relationship/investment from Microsoft could see Bing Maps be their go-to map app.

So for now the “Facebook Phone” is still a rumour, but certainly possible. If it had everything you wanted, including all the desired specs, would you get one?

Source: NYT
Via: BI & Engadget