According to the NYTimes, “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, the employees and those briefed on the plans said.”
One of the engineers who worked on developing the iPhone talked to Mark Zuckerberg on the development of a smartphone and said he was extremely interested in learning about how it works and produced such a device.
“One engineer who formerly worked at Apple and worked on the iPhone said he met with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, who then peppered him with questions about the inner workings of smartphones. It did not sound like idle intellectual curiosity, the engineer said; Mr. Zuckerberg asked about intricate details, including the types of chips used, he said. Another former Apple hardware engineer was recruited by a Facebook executive and was told about the company’s hardware explorations.”
In the past few years rumors have circulated about a possible launch of a Facebook smartphone.