Facebook Hiring Former Apple iPhone And iPad Engineers To Build New Smartphone

Facebook Hiring Former Apple iPhone And iPad Engineers To Build New Smartphone

Rumors have been saying for the past two years that Facebook is working on its own smartphone. According to The New York Times today, Facebook has been hiring former Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone and iPad. The new talent will reportedly help Facebook try to build its own smartphone by next year, according to the report.

The Times:

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.

One engineer who formerly worked at Apple and worked on the iPhone said he met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, who then peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones. It did not sound like idle intellectual curiosity, the engineer said; Mr. Zuckerberg asked about intricate details, including the types of chips used, he said. Another former Apple hardware engineer was recruited by a Facebook executive and was told about the company’s hardware explorations.

Facebook’s smartphone project is codenamed “Buffy,” a nod to the TV show created by Avengers director Joss Whedon.

According to the Times, it has taken Facebook more than two years to develop a smartphone because the company originally thought it could be successful by operating totally in-house. Now it appears that the company has realized it needs help, as Zuckerberg and Co. have gone knocking on the doors of the most sought after talent in the field, Apple engineers.

Facebook has always had a strong presence in the iOS App Store, as its official iPhone/iPad app consistently sits near the top of the charts. The company has also released standalone Facebook Messenger and Facebook Camera apps for the iPhone. Facebook recently bought Instagram, a premiere iPhone photography app, for $1 billion.

Apple added Twitter integration in iOS 5, and Facebook was rumored to be apart of the OS before it was previewed to the public. Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs never really saw eye to eye, according to reports, and the two companies were not able to come to an agreement on both iOS 5 and Ping integration.

If Facebook were to make a smartphone, the device would most likely not compete with the iPhone, but with Google’s Android. Facebook makes its bread and butter off of advertising, and the phone would likely be targeted at the lower (possibly prepaid) end of the consumer phone market.

  • Oleguer Txdr

    Who would buy a Facebook cellphone anyway?

    The net doesn’t end after Facebook. Nowadays, the number of social networks if huge (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Intagram (Facebook), Four Square, Flickr, Spotify…)
    A Facebook mobile could never compete with Android. Google’s one of the strongest companies nowadays, owning YouTube, Android, Google+, Maps, Chrome… Facebook, instead, has only Facebook and Instagram (which is kinda big, but not bigger than Google). That’s my opinion.
  • technochick

    Can’t wait to see the Willow, Angel, Faith, Kendra phones. Heck even the Giles and Spike ones could be rocking. 

    The Drusilla crashes all the time and eats your data. Crazy times. 
    And the Xander. Well they actually call that one the Zeppo
  • technochick

    Who would buy a Facebook cellphone anyway?

    The net doesn’t end after Facebook. Nowadays, the number of social networks if huge (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Intagram (Facebook), Four Square, Flickr, Spotify…)

    1. No one said that it does

    2. For some folks that might be all they do online. or at least all they care about their phone doing. Shocking to imagine but some folks don’t care about searching the web etc on a tiny phone screen
  • Tallest_Skil

    Anything they do to become closer to bankruptcy, be it idiotic decisions like this or through lack of interest in social networking, is completely fine by me.

  • Steffen Jobbs

    Apple should start hiring some ex-Facebook employees to create a decent Apple social network.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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