According to a report in The New York Times yesterday, the ex-Apple employees will help Facebook release a branded smartphone by next year.
“The company has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone and one who worked on the iPad, the employees and those briefed on the plans said,” The Times reported.
“One engineer who formerly worked at Apple and worked on the iPhone said he met with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who then peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones.
“It did not sound like idle intellectual curiosity,” the engineer told The Times. “Zuckerberg asked about intricate details, including the types of chips used.”
“Another former Apple hardware engineer was recruited by a Facebook executive and was told about the company’s hardware explorations.”
Codenamed ‘Buffy’, the latest smartphone project will involve Taiwanese manufacture HTC and is Facebook’s third attempt at producing a handset.
The Times believes the past attempts “crumbled after the company realised the difficulties involved.”
Facebook did not deny the smartphone project when questioned by The Times, stating, “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers and application developers.”
In other news, Fellow software giant Google confirmed the US$12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility last week, passing the final test from the Chinese Government.