Social networking site Facebook is set to make another attempt to break into the hardware market with the development of its own phone, reports have suggested.

According to the New York Times, the firm has hired more than half a dozen software and hardware engineers who had previously worked on Apple’s iPhone to help it achieve this goal.

It quoted individuals close to the project as suggesting Facebook has set out a timetable that will see it bring its own hardware to market next year.

An employee at the firm, speaking to the publication on condition of anonymity, said: “Mark [Zuckerberg] is worried that if he doesn’t create a mobile phone in the near future that Facebook will simply become an app on other mobile platforms.”

Creating new streams of revenue is a top priority for the company as it tries to justify the high valuation placed on it as it announced its floatation on to the stock market, with mobile being seen as one of the key areas it needs to work harder to exploit.

It was noted this week by CNet that the growth of this platform is a development Facebook will need to adjust to quickly if it is not to be left behind.

The website’s Molly Wood explained: “Simply put: the world is going mobile, it’s hard to make money on mobile and no one is feeling that more painfully than Facebook.”

However, analysts have observed that the social network may not find the development of a smartphone an easy project.

The New York Times observed major manufacturers such as HP and Dell have tried and failed to break into this market, while there are many technical challenges the company will have to overcome if it is to be successful.

It would be Facebook’s third attempt to get a smartphone off the ground, after previous efforts failed due to the complexity of the development.

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