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HTC First aka “Facebook Phone” Reportedly Already to be Discontinued

htc first

Just a little over a month ago, Facebook held a press event in Menlo Park at their headquarters to announce a partnership with HTC and AT&T. The child of that partnership was the HTC First, priced at just $99 and the first device to come pre-loaded with Facebook Home. While Home was met with mixed reviews from the media and consumers, the First itself didn’t seem all that bad. Beneath Facebook’s launcher lays a vanilla Android operating system, with mid-level specs inside of a well-designed body. According to sources of BGR, none of it was good enough to keep the device on shelves for even a few months. 

Sources state that fewer than 15,000 units were sold during the time that the device dropped in price to just $0.99 on contract, as AT&T representatives were not pushing the device onto buyers. Apparently, all unsold inventory will be shipped back to HTC and from there, who knows. For added insult to injury, it is said that the HTC ChaCha from 2011 saw better total sales than the HTC First. Oy vey.

Are we even surprised by this?

Via: BGR

Cheers Nick and Justin!

  • http://twitter.com/JohnnyACE562 GRAND MASTER SEN$Ei {{-_-}}™

    Karma’s a beeyotch. Signed, The Winklevoss Brothers. {{-_-}}

  • Kendrick Sims

    Dear HTC: You cannot put your name on everything!! Some things you should pass up, no matter how bad things seem to be or what the situation is. And this is one of them!

  • http://twitter.com/jetsetsonic Adam Ismail

    Do we think this could turn into an HP Touch Pad-esque fire sale? If so, I’d love to get my hands on one of these. Just disable Facebook Home and you have a solid mid-level Android handset at the perfect size and everything. I could use a phone just to play around with.

  • regkilla

    RIP legend
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    .
    ……. JK LMAO

  • http://twitter.com/NandaLinnAung Nanda Linn Aung

    facebook? where mom and grandpa hang out!!

    • Chris

      Not everyones a stupid Asian kid who likes Google plus…

      • spacemonkey82

        way to bring race in it. wanna cookie?

  • iwantanHTCone

    “We’re only focusing on one high-end phone”
    *releases the HTC First a month later*

    I see this as a good thing. Stick to your guns HTC. Make one high-end phone, update it every 8-12 months, and don’t mess around with one-carrier one-off gimmicky Facebook phones. On that note, tell Verizon to eff off and just make the One available there the same as the other carriers. FOCUS. Look at the two most successful smartphone models: the Galaxy S series and the iPhone. DO THAT.

    The one exception to this would be to make another Nexus phone.

    • Chris

      The problem is Facebook home can be installed on the high end phones already so theres no need for this, let alone we have facebook apps and such for existing phones. Why would someone buy a facebook phone when their current phone already supports a facebook app?

  • dylan84

    Not surprised at all. This phone was set to fail the minute it was announced. People don’t love Facebook as much as Facebook and HTC would have liked you to believe. There is just nothing about this phone that was worth buying.

  • anuj kapoor

    It was a perfectly handy device (4.3″) and decently spec’d that most people would have loved … just needed to disable Facebook Home.

    • Chris

      There are already phones out there that people “would have loved” that support facebook. Its called an app…

  • Hatyrei

    if HTC & FACEBOOK did make a flagship level specs and design…it would sell more. And yet they made this…”it’s just way to simple” …

  • flosserelli

    It would have sold better as a nondescript midrange device, without the facebook moniker. HTC needs to figure out how to sell phones without signing multi-million dollar deals with facebook, Beats audio, etc., which end up costing HTC more in the long run. None of these marketing gimmicks have helped HTC turn a profit. Few people will buy a phone because of a singular exclusive feature — it has to be more than the sum of its parts. HTC seems to have finally figured that out with the One, but they need more than out-of-the-park hit to turn the company around.

  • Joshua Sotnick

    Kind of a shame really, considering that it becomes the decently spec’d 4.3-inch device that most people have been wanting once Facebook Home is disabled.

    • gregmr

      Sadly, as stated in the article, ATT was most likely not pushing the phone with the release of the GS4 and One.

      I was in an ATT store just last week weighing options with my VZW contract coming due soon (and no appealing phones out), and overheard a sales rep telling a customer the “GS4 blows away the One.” Sad. Poor customer service and personal opinions can kill off a device like this rather quickly

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jacob-Gallegos/1578850285 Jacob Gallegos

        Removable battery and extended SD storage options are pretty good selling points for the S4 vs the HTC One they both have 1080p screens and pretty decent specs, formally an HTC Customer I can say my S3 is running an up to date version of android and HTC has a horrible track record as far as updates go.

        • gregmr

          It’s still unfair to the customer to give a highly subjective opinion that the GS4 “blows away” the One.

          • Sasquatch4ever

            Is it unfair for a waiter to tell a customer that the calamari is better than the truffles? There is very clearly no way to compare two very similar phones, so sales reps live off of subjective opinions. If a customer buys a phone merely off the opinion of a rep, then they probably would not be able to tell the difference between the two anyway.

            Apparently HTC just needs to sell their phones to sales reps better.

          • gregmr

            Strawman argument, mostly. What if the waiter recommended Calamari when the person has a fish allergy?

            The fact is he gave a personal opinion with no factual information for the customer to work on. What if the guy spends a lot of time in bars/clubs/out a night shooting pictures in low light and doesn’t want a UI that looks like it was created by a third grade art class?

          • Sasquatch4ever

            You’re missing my point. There’s no way a sales rep can know anything about their lives, he can only provide his own opinion. So there’s no absolutely no problem with him suggesting fish, because the customer has the right of choose something different, in the same way that the buyer of a cell phone can choose something else.

          • gregmr

            That’s when the salesperson should ask “What are you looking for?” / “Do you take a lot of pictures and where” / “Do you want your UI to look like a cartoon or somewhat elegant?”

            The real issue I took with it is that he was just there to make a quick sale without helping the customer whatsoever

  • http://twitter.com/turdbogls Turdbogls

    I would be all over this phone……for $100 off contract and unlocked :)

  • I-Troll-U

    I’d be lying if I said I’m not surprised.

    • Adamania

      So… you ARE surprised?

      • Kevin Frank

        trolled

      • I-Troll-U

        Google it.. You shall find out ;)

  • MichaelFranz

    Crickets….again??

  • http://randomphantasmagoria.com/ Shawn

    I love the fact that this post is on its way to receiving more comments than initial post about its launch did (the post with the giant cricket). hahaha

  • Dave

    HTC swings and misses. That’s strike 74.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CalebShwarez Caleb Loop

    Somewhere there is going to be a landfill full of these just like the old ET games for the Atari.

  • r0lct

    Much like a “First” post, it deserves all the criticism it got.

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    HTC Worst FTW

  • bakdroid

    Why can’t HTC just die already…

    • Chris

      Same could be said for samsung….

      • Tyler

        personally im hoping for apple…

        • Chris

          Good luck with that. I never understand the immature hate towards companies. I use both apple and android. Both have their good and bad sides

          • Tyler

            Oh i know apple isn’t going anywhere. And owning an apple product has its perks but imo the negatives out weigh the positives. A man can still dream right?

  • shooter50

    Vanilla Android and still no one wants it…..nuff said.

  • Trueblue711

    “as AT&T representatives were not pushing the device onto buyers”

    So is this failure mostly caused by poor marketing/cooperation with AT&T, or because the device sucked?

    • http://twitter.com/nedrudrelytmai Tyler Durden

      The latter.

    • Josh Shaw

      Because the OS sucked, it could have been a great mid range phone.

      • Joshua Sotnick

        The OS was vanilla 4.1.2 buddy. Unless you’re referring to Facebook Home. Which is a Launcher, not an OS.

        • Josh Shaw

          Yes, I was referring to Facebook Home. The problem lies in the fact that no one purchasing a midrange Android phone is going to look for those yummy Nilla Wafers hidden beneath the pile of filth Facebook Home is. Now with that said, had it run Sense 5.0 it may have done better, especially if they launched it with the HTC One as a sort of.. budget concious/entry Android handset.

          • Joshua Sotnick

            Which is a shame when you take into account how surprisingly easy they made it to turn off Facebook Home.

          • Josh Shaw

            But it wasn’t Apple easy.. it probably didn’t “Just work”.

          • Joshua Sotnick

            It’s the first option under the settings for Home. It doesn’t get easier than that.

          • Scrobbled

            Why are you even arguing that speaker quality or positioning nullifies his arguments? Who buys a phone because the built-in audio hardware is great? The only people who play music from their phone speakers are the little thuggish ruggish urban kids on the train.

          • Justin Dawson

            My 5 year old likes to listen to music and movies and games on the speakers on my phone. She is not thuggish ruggish

          • PSU_DI

            If it was sold with vanilla android with Facebook home pre-installed but disabled initially I bet it would have actually sold well.

          • Joshua Sotnick

            Design a phone for a specific feature and sell it with that feature disabled out of the box?

            Wut

          • PSU_DI

            Well, As someone else mentioned HTC needs to stop these gimmick partnerships. Facebook and Beats have been disasters.

            My point was if HTC sold the “first” as a pure android experience with the “best” facebook intergation available it would have sold better. But instead Facebook HOME is front and center and, it make the phone so hard to use as a phone. Try to make a phone call from it, it’s not intuitive at all.

          • Joshua Sotnick

            The universal praise for the HTC One speakers kinda nullifies this disaster you speak of.

            There are already phones for the “pure android experience”. They’re called Nexus.

            What does HTC have to do with the software being unintuitive? They didn’t design it.

            This phone was not going bring in new Facebook. It’s patently obvious it was meant for people who already use Facebook.

          • PSU_DI

            HTC’s BOOMSOUND is different than Dr. Dre’s Beats Audio. It’s pretty safe to say that in 2012 all of the “Beats” branding failed as HTC declined the entire year. BoomSound on the other hand is actually innovative by moving the speakers to the front of the device and by actually caring about the tiny speakers they’ve put in the ONE.

            Pure Android, is a “Google Experience” and will more than likely becoming to more than just Nexus devices in the future.

            Again all I’m saying is that since HTC choose not to put sense on the phone, and left stock android on it instead. My only point was that there is actually a market for non nexus phones with stock android. Doing that one thing would have allowed HTC to sell more devices that they did with with having Facebook Home front and center. Facebook Home is the reason why the phone failed, not HTC, but HTC will carry the blame I’m sure. Esspecially when you see the surprising number of people with Android devices that have actually installed Facebook Home on there devices from the Play store.

            .

          • Joshua Sotnick

            “Hey Facebook, we at HTC think it’s great and all that you want you us to build you a phone that uses the full potential of the Launcher you designed, but we think your phone would be so much better if we disable your product out of the box and put ours on it.”

            You not seeing the silliness of that is amazing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.debow Jordan M Debow

    Dam The microsoft Kin had a longer run than this phone lmaoo

    • TheCheapGamer

      I wonder if it will have a similar fate of the kin as well.
      Software update and re-release. In this case, no FB Home, just a mid range phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kaosaeteurn04 Kao Saeteurn

    looks like someone is getting fired.

  • http://twitter.com/provocal proVOCAL

    Unfriended.

  • zepfloyd

    Look someone out Verizon’d Verizon on canceling devices! Now THAT’S a story.

  • Kyle Cordiano

    Should have left the “Facebook phone” to rumors and never made in into production. HTC with stock Android is always welcomed, but not branded with Facebook.

  • realfoxm

    This phone is out already?

  • http://twitter.com/YourManAdrian [A]dri[A]n

    Was there ever a chance of any other outcome? I mean, there was not even ONE good reason to release such a phone. This phone would have probably sold much better like 4 years ago. If anything, a Twitter phone would be the hype right now, not that I would support that idea, at all.

    • CaptainHowdy13

      Don’t give Twitter any ideas!!

  • jnt

    No surprise, sucks for HTC, though, who needs all the help they can get right now!

    • 4n1m4L

      The remaining inventory being shipped back to HTC almost makes it seem like they are taking the fall for it. Sad.

  • Finire

    Now can we kill of the DNA and bring the HTC One to Verizon please?

    • btod

      This.

  • Mary Bradley

    Ouch Facebook. Nice article – but this is awful:

    “Beneath Facebook’s launcher lied a vanilla Android operating system,”

    …”lied”? Really?

    They lied about “lied” being the past tense of “lies [on, under, below, etc]” You’re looking for “lay”.
    E.g. “It lay there like a dead fish, and sold not as well.”

    • Glen E Ston

      Thank you for the lesson.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Tim-o-tato

      Ms. Oliver from 5th grade English, is that you? :)

      Thanks, I’ll go ahead and update that!

    • http://twitter.com/nedrudrelytmai Tyler Durden

      You made an account to correct this. I have no words.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CalebShwarez Caleb Loop

    Good, now lets just sort of forget this ever happened.

  • DanSan

    wow look another HTC phone that is a complete flop…. look at my surprised face.

    • Grump

      Every time a new HTC device is announced I get excited, but then I am once again reminded it is HTC and chances are it will have no updates even 6 months from now, and it will be completely forgotten a year later.

  • EvanTheGamer

    That didn’t take long. Wow. lol

  • jb

    ’nuff said…

    • wilmajohn325

      My co-worker’s step-aunt makes $78 an hour on the computer. She has been without a job for five months but last month her income was $15442 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site… http://www.hdcash1.com

  • Octotron

    Wow… that is a proverbial bath if I ever heard of one. HTC is really feast or famine. I wonder how much they were really planning on sinking into this phone.

  • http://twitter.com/nedrudrelytmai Tyler Durden
    • PhoenixPath

      Really.

      At *least* a million folks Downloaded it and it’s sitting at an average of 2.2 stars…

      Surprised? Hardly.

      • michael arazan

        So will they give all these phones to poor African countries like all the Losing Team Superbowl shirts?

    • John
    • http://twitter.com/NandaLinnAung Nanda Linn Aung

      this makes me miss DEXTER so much

  • http://twitter.com/420dubstepguy shiny magnemite

    RIP HTC

    • J Davis

      RIP Facebook too..

      • EvanTheGamer

        The phone is going away, but the site itself will be around for a LONNNNNNNNNNNNG damn time. Not going anywhere.

        • http://twitter.com/nedrudrelytmai Tyler Durden

          It’s racking in money big time. The people who still own %10 or less are raking in $1bil still

          • EvanTheGamer

            Oh yeah, believe that! If you owned even 1% of Facebook, you are a millionaire. haha. Hell, even if you owned a small amount of FB stock, you’re still pretty rich.

            Lucky bastards they are.

          • http://twitter.com/nedrudrelytmai Tyler Durden

            That’s why Eduardo Saverin is like “Thanks for kicking me out, i’m still a billionaire though”