Is Facebook developing its own modular smartphone?

A new report has revealed that Facebook is apparently developing a modular smartphone alongside veterans from Google’s Project Ara initiative.

Facebook had its first stab at mobile phones with the short-lived HTC First, and in the wake of its failure lowered its ambitions to controlling your life through apps in favour of hardware. That is, apparently, the case up until now – as a new patent has revealed that the social media company is developing a new, modular smartphone akin to Project Ara.
Project Ara was, of course, Google’s own initiative to develop a smartphone that could rely on hot-swappable, modular components that died a quiet death.
Read: Apple’s newest patents reveal an intriguing, modular future for the Apple Watch
According to Business Insider, however, Facebook has managed to co-opt that dream by not only recruiting veteran engineers and designers behind Ara, but further through developing and filing patents detailing its own plans for a modular device.
The report cites that Facebook has recruited Project Ara’s Regina Dugan to lead its own modular initiative from the shadowy, secretive confines of Building 8, which is apparently a division within the social media company.
Though Project Ara amounted to precious little in the smartphone world, it did indirectly inspire some device manufacturers to take the modular concept more seriously. The first was LG, which ultimately failed to impress with the LG G5, and the second is Motorola, which continues to press ahead with its Moto Mod accessory suite.
Facebook’s modular device might only debut much further down the line – if ever – and we’ll likely have a long wait ahead of us to see what the social media giant has planned.
Revisit: Introducing Phonebloks: The DIY, modular smartphone concept
What are your thoughts? Would you be willing to invest in a Facebook-made, modular smartphone? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA