According to a report in the New York Times, a new Facebook phone is being developed ready to be launched early in 2013.
The smartphone and the software are allegedly being developed by former employees of Apple, including an engineer who worked on the iPad. Recent data indicates that Facebook is accessed by 350 million users via their mobile phones every month.
The project is reportedly being headed by Facebook’s chief technology officer Bret Taylor and the group will work with the phone manufacturer HTC from Taiwan. In a reference to the TV series about a vampire, the project has been named ‘Buffy’.
A report in Digitimes suggests that the new mobile handset will run on a modified variety of Android, much like the Kindle reader from Amazon. Facebook appear to be competing against Google, which recently secured the purchase of Motorola Mobility in a $12.5 billion takeover. This may signify the launch of new handsets from Google, although they have secured the lower priced smartphone market. One employee of Facebook reportedly said that Mark Zuckerberg was worried about Facebook being an app on alternative mobile platforms rather than mobile phones developed by the social networking site.
Carolina Milanesi from Gartner research company said:
“They are not doing a phone to enter the devices market. If they do a phone they will have to embed Facebook and Instagram at the core of the device, learning from every click the user does.”
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