News

Rumour: Facebook hires Apple engineers to build new smartphone, due next year

The fruits of their labour

Rumour: Facebook hires Apple engineers to build new smartphone, due next year
|

Last November, we reported that Facebook was working with HTC to create the first Facebook smartphone handset.

Now, it seems that Mark Zuckerberg is turning up the heat on his mobile hardware project (code-named 'Buffy'), hiring ex-Apple employees to expand the existing team with the intention of releasing a Facebook handset next year.

According to The New York Times, Facebook has taken on a small group of software and hardware engineers whose previous credits include the iPhone and the iPad.

These new recruits will not only bolster the existing Facebook / HTC smartphone team, but will also be involved in other Facebook-oriented smartphone projects.

Following the timeline

Though the company is trying its best to keep the project under wraps, some of Facebook's staff are being a little more candid.

"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," an unnamed Facebook employee revealed.

Another unnamed source explained that the project has already received two "reboots", after the social network's software-centric tech department realised it would need outside help with hardware design.

When asked to comment on the new rumours, Facebook reiterated the statement it gave in November, saying: "We're working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers."

The Verge