The first sign was a price drop to $0.99 just one month after it was launched, but now it’s becoming even more clear that the HTC First is a massive flop.
You may remember the HTC First as the final form of the long-rumored Facebook phone. Running stock Android skinned with Facebook Home, the First was meant to appeal to Facebook-loving smartphone users and build up hype for Facebook Home as a replacement launcher for Android. Well, apparently it isn’t working out so well.
According to a “trusted source”, sales of the HTC First are “shockingly bad,” BGR reports. Sales are apparently so disappointing that AT&T has decided to discontinue the phone. The source says AT&T will return the unsold inventory to HTC and it seems like there could be a lot of devices to return. AT&T sold roughly 15,000 units across the U.S. when the price dropped to $0.99 on contract.
If it is true, the HTC First being a failure isn’t all that surprising. Most people who have downloaded Facebook Home on Android end up uninstalling it shortly after. While it is a compelling piece of software, the lack of widgets and general customization make it seem very anti-Android and other than flooding your phone with Facebook, doesn’t offer much of an improvement to any device.
BGR also heard AT&T staff don’t like Facebook Home and aren’t making much of an effort to convince customers into buying it. Other smartphones like the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4 are being pushed much more heavily, the source reports.
Whatever the fate of the HTC First, AT&T will have to wait until its in-store display contract with HTC runs out before the First can be pulled from shelves and sent back to its maker. HTC has already paid for the space in AT&T’s store and it would be too much of a hassle for AT&T to back out of the deal before it runs out.
For what it’s worth, an AT&T spokesperson contacted BGR with this message, “As mentioned previously, we do pricing promotions all the time and have made no decisions on future plans.”