Status update: Facebook to launch smartphone

Reports claim CEO has met with and hired former Apple insiders

Apple beware. Google watch out. Here comes Facebook.

No, not the stock price, but the latest buzz on the online tech vine is CEO Mark Zuckerberg's next big move is the Facebook phone.

A 'New York Times' report on Sunday said the company is targeting former Apple staff and has hired expert engineers who had earlier worked on the iPhone and the iPad.

Quoting unidentified former Apple alumni, the report said a meeting with Zuckerberg involved explaining intricate details about the inner workings of smartphones.

This is the third attempt by Facebook to launch its own smartphone.

The company wants to target its billion users or so and shift gears from being just an app on other smartphones.

Apple’s association with Twitter and Google promoting its Google+ on Android has made Facebook more keen on developing its own device.

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it plans to launch a new App Center something similar to Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play.

Many experts have already expressed their skepticism and feel the company is erring by shifting focus away from its core-competency.

“How is the phone going to be different from any other smartphone. Why should I buy a phone just to browse Facebook?” asked ST Madhav, an ardent Facebook user.

The fact is Facebook does have a captive audience and if it can get even half of those to move to its exclusive device, well, its stock price could rise to the heights that were expected.

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