Facebook could be planning to release its own Smartphone by next year, as the social networking giant looks to boost its revenue in the mobile Internet market.
The New York Times revealed on Monday that the newly public company has hired more than half a dozen software and hardware engineers who have worked on Apple’s bestselling iPhone and one engineer who has iPad experience, the paper said, citing employees and other unnamed sources.
It has also expanded a group working on a partnership with Taiwan’s HTC to create a smartphone codenamed “Buffy” – a project first revealed last year by technology blog All Things Digital.
“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 told the New York Times.
When asked for comment, Facebook neither confirmed nor denied the report.
“Our mobile strategy is simple: we think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social,” it said in a statement emailed to AFP.
“We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.
With the growing strength of social and mobile games, a Facebook Smartphone could have significant implications for the games market.
Facebook currently has more than 900 million members worldwide.