Facebook hires Apple’s UI Design Manager, possibly for a phone project?

By , Jun 22, 2012

According to a new report by InsideFacebook, Facebook has recently hired Apple’s former Product Design Manager Chris Weeldreyer, as indicated by his Facebook profile. Weeldreyer, who has 8+ year experience as user interface design manager, started his new role at Facebook on June 18, 2012.

This gig is another indication that the social networking giant could in fact be developing a phone of its own (here are the mockups)…

Weeldreyer’s Facebook page says he worked as Apple’s UI Design Manager between November 2003 to February 2012. Prior to Apple, he had worked as Principal Designer with San Francisco, California-based Cooper from September 2000 to October 2003 and before that at Pentagram and frog design.

Nick Bilton reported on the New York Times’ Bits blog in late-May that Facebook was poaching a bunch of former and current iPad and iPhone engineers to work on a phone project at Facebook, the social networking giant’s third take at own phone.

9to5Mac has more on Weeldryer’s work at Apple:

He certainly worked on at least iWeb as he is listed as an inventor on several Apple Inc filed patents including iWeb for iPad, multi-touch and gesture related inventions, as well as a number of security related patents. His LinkedIn lists his specialties as: Industrial Design, Interaction Design, User Interface Design.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that Facebook hired the engineer to do some interface work on Facebook’s web site or mobile apps or even streamline their design efforts across platforms.

Be that as it may, it’s increasingly looking that Facebook could in fact be building a phone.

What do you think, should this have Apple worried?

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  • James Woods

    Apple should be not be worried in any way. We’re talking about a social networking site here and if they made a phone or an OS I think it would fail horribly. Facebook would turn it into a revenue machine with too many ads and stupid apps. I don’t think this would ever be a match to iOS or Android for that matter.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000254498753 Mark Seah

      no, it wont have many ads, facebook nt stupid. but whatever you text, wherever your location is, whichever you liked etc….every single detail of your life is documented…

  • CamSince89

    I don’t see how anyone could say a Facebook phone would fail horribly. Yes Facebook makes mistakes but that sets them up for a better future. Experience is the best teacher.

    If there were any social media site that could make an honest effort in building a phone, it would have to be Facebook. They’ve shown they’re serious by the developments of they’re Messenger app and ability to utilize Skype video chatting. Ever heard of iMessage and Facetime? Boom. Both of those right there in a similar fashion.

    I feel like as long as they can put together a solid phone that can rival iphone features (which shouldn’t be too hard), they’ll be a contender. Apps, maps, regular phone features, and vertical integration (Like Apple’s new Passport app) will turn heads.

    If Facebook plays its cards right, making a solid phone will help keep them relevant. Facebook to me is just a fad right now but if they can keep the vertical growth going, they’ll have a better chance of longevity.

    • James Woods

      And I agree with you in that it would be popular what I’m worried about is how Facebook would use it. It would just be used as a constant promotion to make Facebook more popular and give away people’s details for marketing and to make money. I just think it would be a little bit too commercial to do as well as iOS and Android have done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500182436 Richard Brooks

    How is facebook going to make a mobile phone when they can’t get there mobile app to work right?

  • insp1112

    Time to change your silly UI, facebook

    • JT_CHITOWN

      What’s wrong with a phone UI made up entirely of blue and white?