It was originally reported that AT&T would be giving the faltering HTC First—or the Facebook phone—the Old Yeller treatment. People are barely taking to it and the device has presented numerous problems to users when it comes to the basic functionality of a smartphone.
The news which broke Monday via BGR mentioned that AT&T would stop selling the phone and give the leftovers back to the manufacturer once in-store deals were met with HTC. From there, HTC could do whatever they wanted with the returned stock of phones such as sell them at a loss or make a fort out of them.
However, AT&T will not be dropping the HTC First according to someone in the loop with the business relationship of AT&T and HTC. “I am not aware of any discussion ever taking place about sending the phones back or to stop selling the First.” The person told CNET.
The HTC First was just released in April and came with Facebook Home as the main focus of the phone. Facebook Home pretty much took over the phone and made it difficult to really do anything with it as it is the home and lock screen. Let’s not forget about the brave users of other HTC smartphones who downloaded the Facebook Home app who also got the same problems.
It’s been said by users and other sites reporting on the HTC First’s development that it’s more of a niche phone for people who are just heads over heels for Facebook while to Android users, it’s just a blight on a strong family of phones.
The phone didn’t look too poised for success when AT&T snipped the price from $99 a month to $0.99 a month with a two year contract. Actually that’s not so much snipping as it is cleaving the price with a flying guillotine. BGR’s source on the matter mentioned that the HTC First only moved around 15,000 in the U.S last week with the price slash. The same source mentioned that reps in AT&T didn’t care for Facebook Home or the HTC First and wouldn’t put in the effort to move the device.
Not only that, but the phone is selling worse than the HTC Chacha—also offered by AT&T.
Normally people would jump on a plan with a phone being offered at a dollar…just not if the phone is the HTC First. Surely it must be some kind of plague phone that only 15,000 people would dare to tempt.
CNET mentioned that they attempted to contact HTC and Facebook about the rumors of the HTC First’s doom, but the two companies declined to discuss it. An AT&T rep did say “As mentioned previously, we do pricing promotions all the time and have made no decisions on future plans.” So the HTC First is still out there and not being the success union of HTC and Facebook’s power and popularity. Instead of a power couple, it turned into that annoying couple you’d rather not invite out or to dinner, but someone always insists.
While AT&T doesn’t seem to be committing to the notion of ending HTC First’s run in their smartphone lineup, the phone might just fail its way out of the door anyway.