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Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has reportedly hired a team of former Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) software engineers to help revamp its iPhone app with a major code overhaul. Sources told Bloomberg on Wednesday that four former iOS experts had been hired by Facebook to work on speed and performance enhancements that are expected to be released in the upcoming version of the app for iOS devices.
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Touchscreen UI developer Greg Novick, Tim Omernick and Chris Tremblay, who also worked on the iPhone’s software, and Scott Goodson, who created Apple’s first-party Stocks app, are all reportedly joining the Facebook team. Also working on the project after their company Push Pop Press was acquired by Facebook are former Apple designers Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, who are credited with helping to create the look and feel of iOS.
Facebook is also reportedly developing its own handset in cooperation with HTC. A report in May claimed the company hired “more than half a dozen” former Apple hardware and software engineers who worked on the iPhone, as well as one iPad engineer, to help build a smartphone, which was then rumored to debut sometime between late 2012 and mid-2013. Now Bloomberg reports the timetable has been pushed back to give HTC “more time to work on other products.”
According to the Bloomberg report, more than half of Facebook’s 900 million users access the social network via mobile devices, and yet none of the $3.15 billion the company brought in last year from advertising sales came from ads on mobile devices. Facebook’s plan to rebuilt its iOS app from the ground up, as well as develop its own smartphone, are likely both in an effort to change that. Concerns about Facebook’s mobile monetization are largely responsible for its stock’s poor performance since its IPO.
“Our mobile strategy is simple: We think every mobile device is better if it is deeply social,” Facebook said in a statement. “We’re working across the entire mobile industry; with operators, hardware manufacturers, OS providers, and application developers to bring powerful social experiences to more people around the world.”
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