(NEW YORK) -- Facebook continues to beef up its mobile strategy -- just last week it launched a dedicated Facebook camera app and it has recently acquired mobile app companies, including Instagram and Glancee. But according to The New York Times, the company is aiming bigger than apps that run on the iPhone or Android phones.
Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper says Facebook is preparing to release a smartphone by next year.
“The company has already hired more than half a dozen former Apple software and hardware engineers who worked on the iPhone, and one who worked on the iPad, ” Nick Bilton of the New York Times reported Sunday.
Previously, other technology sites have reported similar Facebook phone speculation. In 2010, TechCrunch reported that Facebook was looking to create its own phone. And late last year, AllThingsD reported that a phone codenamed “Buffy” was being tested.
According to the Times, Facebook continues to work on the “Buffy” phone and has hired numerous hardware engineers, many of which are former Apple employees. The paper's sources say Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want the social networking site to be just another app that runs on a phone.
Facebook would not comment directly on the report and instead referred the Times to a previous statement: “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio