Report: Facebook bolsters efforts to build smartphone

Facebook has hired former Apple engineers, the New York Times says

Facebook is revitalizing its effort to create a smartphone, recruiting engineers who have experience with mobile devices, according to a story in the New York Times Sunday.

Facebook has kept its renewed effort to come up with a smartphone quiet, avoiding putting ads on public sites, according to the article, which cited unnamed sources inside the company, people briefed by the company and people who had been the target of recruitment initiatives.

Facebook wants to release a smartphone by next year, and has picked up former Apple engineers who had worked on the iPhone, as well one who worked on the iPad, according to the article.

This is not the first Facebook smartphone initiative. An effort started several years ago, first reported by TechCrunch, fell apart when it became clear that the company did not have the expertise necessary to come up with a smartphone on its own, according to the Times story.

Facebook then teamed up with manufacturer HTC in a project, codenamed "Buffy," which is ongoing, according to the Times. The current initiative to recruit new talent expands the Buffy project. All Things D first reported on the Buffy project last year.

As it finds its way as a public company, Facebook is looking for ways to bolster financial results. Its May 18 IPO, marred by technical glitches at the Nasdaq as well as accusations that the lead underwriter may have breached financial disclosure rules, has put the spotlight on the company's earnings and the uphill battle it may have to monetize its huge user base.

In the past few day, reports have emerged that Facebook may acquire Norwegian browser maker Opera Software, developer of browsers for desktops and mobile phones. Facebook executives have said that the mobile world is key to further expansion for the company.

On Thursday, Facebook launched a mobile photo app, Camera, even before it closed a deal to buy photo-sharing app Instagram.

The US$1 bilion deal for Instagram was announced April 9.

The latest reports about Facebook's smartphone efforts also come within a week after Google closed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The close of the deal means that Google has a hardware manufacturing arm with which it can closely work to develop Android. Google will also have control of Motorola's massive patent portfolio. Motorola Mobility has said that it owns or has applied for more than 24,000 patents.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc Ferranti

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?