Facebook smartphone to be 'released next year'

A smartphone displays a Facebook app Facebook already provides apps for various different mobile platforms

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Social networking giant Facebook is to launch its own smartphone by next year, reports have suggested.

The New York Times cited unnamed sources, including Facebook employees, suggesting that the network had been hiring several smartphone engineers.

Facebook recently admitted it was struggling to make money out of its growing mobile audience.

The company, which recently floated on the stock market, has also just launched its own mobile app store.

The App Center currently offers links to Facebook-enabled apps within Apple's iOS and Google Android stores but developers will soon be able to write apps to be placed exclusively in Facebook's store.

According to the New York Times, Facebook has hired experts who worked on the iPhone and other smartphones.

It quoted a Facebook employee as saying the site's founder Mark Zuckerberg was "worried that if he doesn't create a mobile phone in the near future... Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms".

Mobile money

A Facebook smartphone has reportedly been in the works for some time.

In 2010, Techcrunch reported that Facebook was "secretly" building a smartphone - although this particular project is said to have broken down.

The company's desire to enter the smartphone market could be a result of increasing pressure to improve the potential of mobile to make money.

In a statement for potential investors ahead of its initial public offering earlier this month, the company admitted it had concerns about more users accessing Facebook through their mobile - a trend which could make it more difficult to sell advertising.

When asked by the BBC, a spokeswoman for Facebook said the company did not comment on speculation, and referred instead to a written statement.

"Our mobile strategy is simple: we think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social," the statement read.

"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."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    All those moaning minnies who go on and on and on about how FB is just dross, should bear in mind that it is a tool, and as such, can be used in a crass, egotistical manner, or used to bring about positive social change, help people in need, bring all kinds of people together who may never have met IRL. If you don't like a tool, don't use it - but please, just stop moaning...

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Seriously, hasn't Farcebook been confined to the history channel as one of those "Oh, do you remember when people used to feel the need to broadcast every little insignificant detail about their lives and pretend they had hundreds of so called "friends" (when in real life they were losing them by no longer meeting up) and then there was the 'Like' button!", commentator chokes in fits of laughter.

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    1. Apple - Marketting powerhouse with lots of popular products including smart phones

    2. Google - Financially powerful provider of search and web applications, tools etc... and android

    3. Facebook - Social network site which could be replaced at any time... and has no working product

    Work it out

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    If fb wants investor return i would suggest gambling and web aution (competitor for ebay etc) as potential revenue streams rather than the mobile market.
    Predicted by everyone and their dog so I want to see the investors suing fb + underwriters, just to make sure that none are running anything held in my pension fund.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    This sounds like a terrible idea, Facebook have no experience in making hardware of any sort that i am aware of.

    Most likely the phone will be geared towards having a large number of adverts as Facebook have admitted this is where they are struggling.

    So a substandard phone with annoying pop ups, sounds like their shares are in for another dive.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Do we really need more of this rubbish or am I getting old

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    Eek. This things going to clock you going past McDonald's and poke you through the door.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Facebook's attempts at mobile (on internet) have been absolutely abysmal so far. Still. With an additional $16 billion dollars, and a year to go, perhaps they may get it right

    We'll see

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    We really have to adapt to the modern world.It must be OK to to make people buy something they never needed,never wanted.
    Advertisers rulle the planet.
    You have to keep on buying.
    Unless....Maybe....We all get a lot smarter....
    Do we really need the product?

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    >It quoted a Facebook employee as saying the site's founder Mark Zuckerberg was "worried that if he doesn't create a mobile phone in the near future... Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms".

    It already is. Do they really think people are going to replace their phones just to use facebook? The app is poorly coded anyway, using 20-50% CPU on my S2 when idle.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    A thinly veiled advert for the Facebook mobile that doesn't exist yet? How much did the BBC get paid for this piece of un-news? Can we have an ad for Mackie D's next?

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    A micro world with you at the centre, where you can surround yourself with every boring sycophant you've ever, met while they constantly reinforced every vapid thought you some how manage to cobble together. Facebook isn't going anywhere, right now anyway.

    But the day is approaching when facebook allows it's facial recognition software to be used on CCTV. That's when it fails.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    Years ago, we think, people used to actually go, I mean like actually physically travel, round to the friends actual house or flat or whatever, to show them some photos. And then they`d actually talk to them, like face to face. Can you believe it? Gross. How bizarre.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    Just what the world needs.... another flavour of mobile phone!

    How much REAL good could billions of pounds do?

    Like him or not, at least Bill Gates had the decency to start a foundation to at least give the appearance of doing some good with his money.

    All the Facebook phone will do is bring adverts to your pocket or purse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Well I'm afraid that facebook are 3-4 years late for the whole smartphone thing Apple and Samsung have got the market running for their poor quality plastics and confusing operating systems *cough* symbian *cough*.
    Besides, facebook are in a bit of a kerfuffle at the moment with the stock market thing, maybe they should sort out the current problems before they start investing in new tech.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    Hmmm I must be getting old. I use my mobile for making and receiving phone calls. I can see it now, there will be an increase in hospital waiting rooms for those with overworked thumbs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    facebook is a disease...its turning everybody into social zombies...the sooner is it banished to the pages of history the better!

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    Facebook, probably the greatest squandering of collective human endeavour, since religion was invented.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Dead easy, just refuse to have one.

    If its made in China it will be rubbish anyway and you will spend a fortune forever taking it back to the shop.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Perhaps this is why their smartphone apps are crap


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