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Facebook has hired more than a half dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who were on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad, to build the Facebook Phone, The New York Times reports.Instead of posting job listings for the Facebook phone online, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his team are recruiting employees for the phone by hand, according ot the report. Zuckerberg is peppering former Apple engineers with very specific questions about the iPhone, too — including the types of chips used.
The Facebook phone project has been rebooted a number of times because the company only recently discovered it needed to bring in people with phone-making experience, according to the report. One Facebook employee told The New York Times that Facebook originally thought it could figure out hardware development on its own.
Here’s the money quote from the story;
“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,” one Facebook employee said.
Facebook has quietly assembled all the important bits of a mobile phone. It just released its new camera application that uploads directly to Facebook, its own messenger service, and it’s reported that Facebook is courting mobile web browser developer Opera.
Facebook also plans to launch its own app store. The Facebook Platform is already one of the most attractive platforms out there, and Facebook could easily migrate (or integrate) those existing developers into the mobile app store.