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Facebook Recruiting Former Apple iPhone Engineers for Facebook Phone

There have been persistent rumors that Facebook may be trying to enter the mobile phone market with its own device.

The NYTimes revives these rumors this weekend with a report claiming that Facebook is planning to release its own smartphone by next year. Amongst other talent, Facebook has already recruited a number of former Apple iPhone/iPad engineers for the project:
The company has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad, the employees and those briefed on the plans said.
This is reportedly the 3rd attempt by Facebook to build a smartphone. Previous plans had reportedly "crumbled" after running into technical difficulties. Facebook is now trying to recruit engineers with previous mobile phone experience to streamline the process.

Facebook has a natural interest in selling smartphones. The company already has incredibly popular mobile apps for iOS and Android, but lacks much control on those platforms.
“Mark 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

Top Rated Comments

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75 months ago
Mark is no Steve Jobs.

even though he thinks he is.
Rating: 101 Votes
75 months ago

I'm going to be first in the line of the people not buying it.
Rating: 99 Votes
75 months ago
Facebook phone? This is exactly what they need after a failing IPO, a phone that will tank.
Rating: 92 Votes
75 months ago
I'm waiting for the Angry Birds phone.

Rating: 91 Votes
75 months ago
By using a Facebook phone.... You agree that all conversations can/will be recorded and sold to affiliates and non affiliates. You also agree that anything else such as GPS location, texts, pictures and voicemails are rightfully ours to do what we please.
Rating: 68 Votes
75 months ago
But Mark, Facebook is just an app?!

And they should definitely enhance the performance of their apps before even thinking of developing a phone of their own
Rating: 54 Votes
75 months ago
I am starting to get facebooked out. Blah.
Rating: 27 Votes
75 months ago
I guess any disruption is possible, particularly in technology, but it occurs to me this race may too hard to enter at this point.

The problem is to compete in mobile, it is no longer about hardware and an OS.

You need:

- Apps and vibrant developer community
- Simple system to update OS and Apps
- Cloud storage for apps and media
- Content deals for books, music, and video
- Integration to Windows and Mac apps (outlook, etc.)

It's possible FB can bring all of this to bear, or change the game, but it seems like a long shot to me. Nokia, Motorola, et al. learned the hard way that better hardware and software is no longer enough.

Plus, FB brings some serious baggage. Its core offering is increasingly viewed as spyware. Do people really want an ad company to know every email, phone call, web search, picture, etc., they make and send? I sure wouldn't.

More competition is a good thing for us. No doubt about it. And again, maybe FB has a way to change the game so it can win. But looking at the playing field as it exists today, this seems like a dollar short and a day late.
Rating: 26 Votes
75 months ago
Oh dear ... so will they be using Android OS? Writing their own OS? This just sounds like a mess to me. I don't see the facebook brand selling phones at all.
Rating: 25 Votes
75 months ago
If it's anything like the iPhone app, it will be **** ;)
Rating: 24 Votes

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