Report: Facebook Is Working On A Phone (Again)

Is Facebook going to finally make a smartphone? It's apparently in the cards once more. Rumors flared years back that a "Facebook phone" was en route, and some suggested that HTC's Status was a watered-down version of that dream. But now that Facebook is a public company, with billions to work with an ambitions that are running high, why not try again? According to a New York Times report, Facebook could be trying to match the smartphone giants with a phone of its own. Reportedly, Facebook has hired a few folks who touched the iPhone at one point or another over at Apple, and if all goes to plan, it could release the phone as early as next year. "Half a dozen" former Apple employees now work at Facebook, with the goal being to translate those skills into a Facebook phone.

The company sure has a lot going for it. Plenty of software savvy, a new camera app, and plenty of partnership opportunities. Perhaps even an ad-drive OS model. The codename for the project is "Buffy," and one of the major things being thrown around since the IPO is "Mobile." How will Facebook compete in mobile? With a phone platform of its own, it could surely forge its own trail. An unnamed Facebook employee said the following: "Mark is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms." That's a great point, and now that the company has to please investors, it sure better start considering such things.

But Facebook, a phone / hardware company? Well, people at some point thought Amazon was silly for building an e-reader, and look at how that panned out...