Facebook looks to be holding off on bringing the HTC First to Europe. The HTC First—known mostly as “The Facebook Phone” or “That Facebook Phone” or “It”—hasn’t had the best run once out of the gate. With Facebook pretty much taking over the home screen and phone in general, performing basic functions with the phone have become a chore to do.
The phone has proven to be so salty that AT&T has dropped the price of it from $99 with a plan to $0.99. While a $0.99 smartphone is like a bowl of ice cream on a cake platform, you have to wonder “Is that cake a pitfall into a pit of vegetables? Is that cake even actually cake?” This is the mindset to approach a $0.99 phone which is supposed to make your Facebook experience much richer.
Luckily, people who snagged the Facebook Home app—which did well out of the gate then started to sputter—can just remove it and be done with it, but if they purchased the phone—the actual thing with Facebook baked into the nooks and crannies of it—they’re out of luck unless they turn it back in or find a shaman to remove the cursed thing.
So where did things go wrong? Chris Reeves—cofounder of 2930 Creative—explained it best to the E-Commerce Times: “Facebook didn’t do a good job of explaining why people should download the app—what they would get from Home, in other words.” That’s something that should always be explained when trying to sell something to people. “It can do this, that, and even this. That’s why you need this. If you don’t have this, then that will happen and will make life just difficult.”
It’s not hard to accomplish, it just has to be something that seems like it has a practical use and wouldn’t make things any more difficult than they are. There are bonus points if things are made easier.
Facebook decided to go the route of keeping ads out of Facebook Home, but it’s expected that ads will leak in eventually. When you have something new in the first run, you want to keep out what most people find annoying. With Facebook Home and HTC First; if people go “Well at least there’s no ads.” that’s a check in the win column.
This brings us back to Europe. Top carriers Orange and EE are holding off unleashing the HTC First onto the populace. This was request from Facebook, mind you. The goal here is to make the phone less intrusive and more flexible for customization. It’s a good step as Europe would be a fresh slate and the Facebook Phone could have a good run there and elsewhere before a potential second Facebook Phone—HTC Second? HTC First II?—pops up.
Does that sound like a phone worth getting? Another Facebook Phone? Surely the mistakes of the HTC First wouldn’t be repeated.