It is interesting that in the same week that Google just became an instant hardware maker when it finalized its acquisition of Motorola Mobility reports came out that an internet giant is making a similar move. Nick Bilton of the New York Times recently reported that Facebook is aiming to launch its own smartphone by 2013. The sources of Bilton include employees of facebook and some engineers sought out by recruiters.
Moreover, people who were briefed about the plans of Facebook are also other sources of the report. In particular, those who know about the plans informed Bilton that Facebook has already hired at least six hardware and software engineers of Apple who was part of the making of the iPhone and one engineer who used to work on the iPad.
This news reinforces the previous reports that Facebook is attempting to make its own phone. Last November, a report came out via AllThingsD that Facebook is thinking of tapping HTC to create a smartphone that mainly incorporates social networking in the device through an effort with Buffy as the code name.
Digitimes strengthened the report by saying that HTC was partnering with Facebook to create a phone that will be possibly launched on quarter three of 2012. In the fall of 2010, TechCrunch was the first to talk about Facebook’s efforts to make a phone.
It is also worthy to note that in February of 2011 at the MWC, HTC launched two new smartphones consisting of buttons dedicated to Facebook. Those devices were the HTC Salsa and HTC ChaCha.
No confirmation or denial has been made by Facebook about Bilton’s report. However, it said that the company is working with the overall mobile industry and partnering with operators, operating system providers, hardware manufacturers and app developers. A representative from Facebook also refused the request of CNET to give a comment on the report by saying that the company does not give comments on speculations and rumors.