Facebook may launch smartphone next year

Last updated 12:37 28/05/2012

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This post was originally published on Mashable.

Facebook may be gearing up to launch its first-ever smartphone by next year, a new report suggests.

According to The New York Times, engineers have been sought by recruiters to work on building hardware for a Facebook smartphone. This would be the social network's third attempt to develop a smartphone, the report said, citing sources close to the matter.

The news comes as search engine giant Google completed the acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion earlier this week. This move could help Facebook counter that with its own foray into the smartphone hardware business.

Rumors about a possible Facebook phone have been circulating for thepast few years. Although Facebook was reportedly first working on a smartphone in 2010, sources said the initiative stopped due to development complications. Meanwhile, AllThingsD has reported Facebook and manufacturer HTC were working together to develop a mobile device under the code name "Buffy."

It's believed that "Buffy" may still be in development. Hiring engineers to work specifically on building Facebook phones would position the company to explore other smartphone projects, as well.

Do you think a move into the smartphone business would be smart for Facebook or would it overextend itself? Would you buy a Facebook phone?

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

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- Mashable.com

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