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.