After acquiring apps like Instagram, Glancee, Lightbox, Karma and launching its own Camera app, Facebook is further expanding its horizons. According to reports, Facebook is reportedly building its own smartphone that will be launched till next year.
It has hired more than half-a-dozen former Apple engineers who worked on the iPhone to create its own smartphone software and hardware, as it reacts to the growing threat from the mobile web.
The planned launch would open another front with internet search leader Google which is already into hardware via its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility last week.
According to a report in 2010, 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.
The social network had also launched its own mobile app store currently which 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.
Meanwhile, it has also emerged that Facebook and manufacturer HTC were working together to develop a mobile device under the code name “Buffy” which is still under development.
The migration of web users to smartphones and tablets was named in Facebook’s regulatory filings for its recent flotation as one of the main threats facing it as a business. It currently makes no meaningful revenue from mobile app users, who are growing in number more rapidly than traditional website users.
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.
“Our mobile strategy is simple: we think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social. 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.” the statement read.
April 22, 2013, 5:55 am UTC
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