A Facebook Phone Could Set Up A Google Battle | News & Opinion | PCMag.com (click for full article) "First Opera, now a smartphone... next, you'll read a story about how Facebook's considering buying a television manufacturer so that everyone can enjoy social updates and sitcoms via the "FB TV." The New York Times' Nick Bilton weighs in on the favorite Silicon Valley rumor again today, a story that's been popping up in the news circles since, what, 2010 or so? That's quite a long time for Facebook to be building or not to be building a phone, but we digress. According to Bilton, a number of anonymous sources - including Facebook employees, engineers who have been the target of Facebook recruiting efforts, and other sources with alleged knowledge of Facebook's secret inner workings - maintain that Facebook's working to build its own smartphone. This would be the company's third attempt at bringing a living, breathing smartphone into its core business: Initial rumors in 2010 put smartphones on Facebook's map, but the company allegedly veered away from mobile development after realizing just how difficult it is to build mobile hardware. Rumors resurfaced in late 2011 that Facebook was planning to team up with HTC to build a Facebook-centric device, code-named "Buffy." According to an April report by AllThingsD's Ina Fried, the device is allegedly still in the works: Facebook's doing the mobile platform on top of an Android base and HTC's allegedly taking care of the hardware."