Facebook Smartphone Release Coming Next Year?

Facebook could be set to launch its first smartphone as early as next year, according to new reports.

Engineers have been sought by Facebook recruiters to work on creating advanced hardware for a smartphone, according to a report in The New York Times.

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(Photo: Reuters / Thierry Roge)A Facebook page is displayed on a computer screen.

It wouldn't be the first time that reports have suggested Facebook is looking to develop a smartphone; on at least two occasions in the past the social networking company has been rumored to be looking into the market.

Over the past few years Facebook has been touted to be moving into the smartphone market. The company was reported to be working on a smartphone as early as 2010, however, it is thought that initiative was closed down after the company suffered development complications.

It was also previously reported by AllThingsD that Facebook and manufacturer HTC were working together to develop a mobile device under the code name "Buffy." It is not known whether "Buffy" is still in development.

The latest Facebook rumors have surfaced just days following Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The search engine giant has been rumored to be moving into a position to launch its own smartphone sometime in the future.