AT&T discontinues 'Facebook phone' after just one month, report says

By on May 13, 2013, 11:30 AM
facebook, microsoft kin, smartphone, hp touchpad, discontinued, facebook phone, htc first

It appears as though the HTC First will join the ranks of the Microsoft Kin and the HP TouchPad as the most recent flop in technology. Sales of the “Facebook phone” are so bad that AT&T has already decided to discontinue the handset after only a month on the market according to a trusted source as first reported by BGR.

The Facebook phone finally arrived in mid April following years of speculation that the social network would indeed launch a branded phone. The handset, however, wasn’t exactly what most expected as it ultimately ended up being more about the software experience than the hardware.

The idea was to leverage Facebook’s closed ecosystem and humongous brand power, especially among the millions of teens that use the site to message friends, share photos and play games. Indeed, a number of tech editors praised Facebook Home for having a nice interface that is easy to learn and understand.

It’s unclear exactly where Facebook / HTC went wrong. Perhaps building a mid-range device instead of an elite high-end handset was a mistake. Sure, the $99 price tag would make it available to a larger number of buyers but with the flagship device, you want something exclusive. Or simply put, something nicer and more expensive.

Pretty much everyone knew the handset was in trouble earlier this month when AT&T dropped the price from $99 to just $0.99 (with a two-year service agreement). When you discount a phone (or a tablet, or anything really) that heavily so early on, it’s not a good sign.




User Comments: 17

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veLa veLa said:

It's just that basically every other android phone is already a Facebook phone. Nobody cares about being so heavily integrated with Facebook when the default app/widget work exactly the way anyone would need.

fl21289 said:

This was a dumb idea to begin... why limit yourself to a facebook phone when you can have any android or iphone and just install the app and do more!

1 person liked this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You mean nobody wanted a phone that forces you to use Facebook for everything, immediately pushes every one of your actions through Facebook (by default), and essentially plops you directly into their closed ecosystem where they have proven repeatedly that your data is theirs and your wallet is what they want? Shocking!

Seriously though, while the whole Facebook Home thing isn't necessarily all that bad (if you know how to configure it properly), I think that many people out there are growing tired of how prevalent Facebook has become, and how even typical mundane things are now becoming entangled with the social juggernaut. I miss the days of being able to actually look at product web pages, discuss topics about those products, etc. without being hounded (and often outright required) to link, log, or "Like" some Facebook page to get to where I want to go. Companies are getting lazy, and using Facebook as their communications and/or advertising portal rather than an actual web page, which is a very dangerous amount of power to put into a separate entity that is driven by efforts to monetize your every action on their site whenever possible... Judging by how hard this phone failed, maybe there's more people than I though out there who think like me?

Guest said:

Everybody get down!! It's a bomb!!

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Facebook is going to fall. They are starting to be as obnoxious as MySpace was when Facebook took over.

1 person liked this | SethPC83 SethPC83 said:

It's just that basically every other android phone is already a Facebook phone. Nobody cares about being so heavily integrated with Facebook when the default app/widget work exactly the way anyone would need.

This was a dumb idea to begin... why limit yourself to a facebook phone when you can have any android or iphone and just install the app and do more!

You mean nobody wanted a phone that forces you to use Facebook for everything, immediately pushes every one of your actions through Facebook (by default), and essentially plops you directly into their closed ecosystem where they have proven repeatedly that your data is theirs and your wallet is what they want? Shocking!

Seriously though, while the whole Facebook Home thing isn't necessarily all that bad (if you know how to configure it properly), I think that many people out there are growing tired of how prevalent Facebook has become, and how even typical mundane things are now becoming entangled with the social juggernaut. I miss the days of being able to actually look at product web pages, discuss topics about those products, etc. without being hounded (and often outright required) to link, log, or "Like" some Facebook page to get to where I want to go. Companies are getting lazy, and using Facebook as their communications and/or advertising portal rather than an actual web page, which is a very dangerous amount of power to put into a separate entity that is driven by efforts to monetize your every action on their site whenever possible... Judging by how hard this phone failed, maybe there's more people than I though out there who think like me?

its far worse than that, this is basically a stock android phone with the Facebook Home launcher. you can disable it and use the stock launcher and you basically have a nexus device; if they had advertised it that way (not that they would) it might have sold better.

JC713 JC713 said:

Personally, if I see someone carrying around a HTC First, I would think they are a Facebook addict.

mrcavooter mrcavooter said:

This is a complete surprise... no one saw it coming.

Guest said:

Guest said:

Everybody get down!! It's a bomb!!

With what happened in Boston recently, that isn't even funny at all.

3 people like this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With what happened in Boston recently, that isn't even funny at all.

Seriously, it's called a joke, it had nothing to do with anything even remotely related to Boston, yet you find it offensive somehow? I'm constantly amazed at how thin-skinned people have become these days, and how reactionary people get to simple things taken completely out of context.

Case in point: Nike has a shirt design with the phrase "Boston Massacre" on it, that refers to a commonly used nickname for the 1978 World Series. Some ****** decide to blow up some bombs at the Boston Marathon, and Nike decides to scramble to remove the items from their shelves, yet people are STILL up in arms at how "insensitive" the company is. Really? Did somebody invent a time machine that lets corporations see the future, to avoid using any phrase that could possibly be construed as offensive at some random point in the future? Common sense seems to have been left on the roadside dead a few decades ago.

Not saying it wasn't tragic. But by letting it define and govern your opinion of every comment that can be made, you let the terrorists win. You are modifying your thinking based on their actions, which is exactly what they want to happen. Maybe lighten up and let a joke be a joke, and don't dwell on negative events? Just a thought.

1 person liked this | gamoniac said:

With what happened in Boston recently, that isn't even funny at all.

Seriously, it's called a joke, it had nothing to do with anything even remotely related to Boston, yet you find it offensive somehow? I'm constantly amazed at how thin-skinned people have become these days, and how reactionary people get to simple things taken completely out of context.

Case in point: Nike has a shirt design with the phrase "Boston Massacre" on it, that refers to a commonly used nickname for the 1978 World Series. Some ****** decide to blow up some bombs at the Boston Marathon, and Nike decides to scramble to remove the items from their shelves, yet people are STILL up in arms at how "insensitive" the company is. Really? Did somebody invent a time machine that lets corporations see the future, to avoid using any phrase that could possibly be construed as offensive at some random point in the future? Common sense seems to have been left on the roadside dead a few decades ago.

Not saying it wasn't tragic. But by letting it define and govern your opinion of every comment that can be made, you let the terrorists win. You are modifying your thinking based on their actions, which is exactly what they want to happen. Maybe lighten up and let a joke be a joke, and don't dwell on negative events? Just a thought.

Well said.

Guest said:

Zuckerberg baulked at the idea of using one of these phones himself.

Die Zuckerberg, DIE!

Guest said:

99% of the low IQ populace use FB, and businesses know thats where the sheep are so they follow them. Death to FaceBook

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Zuckerberg baulked at the idea of using one of these phones himself.

Die Zuckerberg, DIE!

There is no need in being inhumane. Even though I do agree with what appears to be hatred for Facebook, I wouldn't wish death to Zuckerberg. Instead I only wish death to Facebook.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

This was a dumb idea to begin... why limit yourself to a facebook phone when you can have any android or iphone and just install the app and do more!

Nothing is off limits when it comes to business. That's why people do trials and stuff to test markets. It was simply a failed experiment with little risk to either facebook or at&t. A group of teenagers could purchase some and talk(lie/deceive) about how great and then started talking about it, hyping it up, and then it spreads like wildfire, sort like clothing trends. You never know what can happen. except in this case, 99% probably expected it to fail even with good marketing

Guest said:

Are you kidding! Everybody knows that typing a warning like that is a joke. Although I probably would have likened the phone to a hand grenade not a bomb.

It is a joke! The internets aren't that crowded today anyway, and stumbling across a pressure cooker bomb on this comment forum will probably only hurt nobody.

Guest said:

Guest said:

Are you kidding! Everybody knows that typing a warning like that is a joke. Although I probably would have likened the phone to a hand grenade not a bomb.

It is a joke! The internets aren't that crowded today anyway, and stumbling across a pressure cooker bomb on this comment forum will probably only hurt nobody.

You do realize there are people who have English as a 3rd or 4th language. Something funny to you and others may be interpreted into something different.

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