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Facebook Planning to Make Their Own Smartphone

FACEBOOK is pushing ahead with its top-secret project to build a smartphone, according to The New York Times - and it is recruiting experts who worked on Apple's iPhone and iPad to help in its quest. 

The plan is driven by founder Mark Zuckerberg's insistence that the social networking giant does not get left behind in the lucrative and growing area of mobile development.

Facebook's recent launch as a public company has made the need for new sources of revenue even starker.

"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," a Facebook employee told the New York Times.

A former Apple iPhone engineer said Zuckerberg peppered him with intricate questions about smartphone workings at a meeting.

Last year AllThingsD reported that Facebook had tapped Taiwanese cell phone maker HTC to build a smartphone that has the social network integrated at the core of its being. The device would be called "Buffy" and run on a modified version of Google's Android.

An earlier bid to build a smartphone failed when Facebook bosses decided the challenges were too big, TechCrunch reported in 2010.

The Times' report on Facebook's latest moves comes less than a week after Google announced that it had completed its $12.5 billion acquisition of smartphone maker Motorola Mobility Holdings.

Facebook did not deny or confirm it is exploring the creation of a smartphone, referring the Times - which speculated that Zuckerberg's company could also buy an existing smartphone maker, such as struggling BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion - to a statement it gave to AllThingsD last November.

"Our mobile strategy is simple," the statement said.

"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.

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