First a rumor about Facebook interested in buying browser maker Opera, and now DailyTech recites a rumor that the social networking giant is interested in entering the phone market "by next year". According to a report in the NY Times, Facebook will cooperate with HTC to develop "Buffy", a phone that features HTC hardware and Facebook software. The article also mentions that Facebook may be interested in buying HTC or RIM, both companies are plunging in value, and thanks to last week's IPO, Facebook now has $16 billion in cash to pursue new investments.
According to a Facebook employee, they were briefed that the company had snared "half a dozen" former engineers on Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone team and an engineer from the iPad team to help with the project. According to the source and an Apple engineer who was recruited by apparently turned down the offer, this is Facebook's third shot at a smartphone.
The company's alleged first go in 2010 was leaked by TechCrunch, but never materialized. Likewise in 2011, "Buffy" was first reported on by AllThingsD, but the project yet again failed to show. Now it appears "Buffy" is back with a vengeance -- or so The New York Times claims.