News, Android, apple, facebook, iphone, mobie computing, smartphones, social network, steve jobs, Zuckerberg — May 28, 2012 18:08 — 0 Comments
Facebook poaches Apple engineers to build smartphone
The Facebook smartphone rumour took another twist over the weekend when several websites picked up on an original New York Times story claiming the social network giant has been hiring former Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone and iPad.
The New York Times reports:
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, reports the Cult of Mac one of the websites that has been following the rumors for the past two years that Facebook is working on its own smartphone.
The move to poach Apple engineers is a recognition that despite working on ”Buffy” for two years, Facebook has realized it needs help. Awash with cash from the recent IPO, Facebook certainly has the resources to build its own smartphone. Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs never really hit it off and Apple has constantly kept the social network at arms length, adding Twitter integration in iOS 5, but not Facebook.
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, Cult of Mac reports.