Facebook Eyeing Smartphone Release by 2013

(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Should top social networking provider Facebook enter the smartphone industry? Whether your response is yes or no, a Sunday report from the New York Times indicated that the company is doing just that.

The newspaper cited sources within the company, indicating that the social network would like to release the phone by sometime in 2013. The same report also indicated that Facebook had hired former iPhone and iPad engineers.

A Facebook phone has been long rumored. However, its introduction to the market could be met with some skepticism. In November, All Things Digital released a study showing less than 8% of respondents would be interested in buying such a device.

Following the social network’s highly anticipated IPO last week, it wouldn’t be surprising for the company to expand. In April, Facebook announced a $1 billion dollar acquisition of photo sharing application Instagram. The company is also reported to be exploring a purchase of web browser provider Opera Software.

The social network currently operates the Open Compute Project, an alliance with the goal of spreading more efficient data center designs.