Thursday, May 13, 2021

Report: AT&T Will Soon Discontinue HTC’s ‘Facebook Phone’

Unnamed sources are telling BGR that AT&T will soon discontinue its sales of the HTC First, an Android smartphone that features Faceook Home . Just last week, the device began selling at a heavily discounted price.

BGR’s Zach Epstein broke the story, reporting, “Our source at AT&T has confirmed that the HTC First, which is the first smartphone to ship with Facebook Home pre-installed, will soon be discontinued and unsold inventory will be returned to HTC. How much unsold inventory is there? We don’t have an exact figure, but things aren’t looking good. According to our source, AT&T sold fewer than 15,000 units nationwide through last week when the phone’s price was slashed to $0.99.”

SlashGear’s Chris Burns noted, “This news comes soon after the device started its pricing at $199 several weeks ago and just last week started a sale for less than a dollar. This pricing indicates that either Facebook, HTC, and AT&T decided they’d sell as many phones as possible to get the word out about how great it was, or they simply haven’t had as many sales as they’d liked – so few that they’re getting rid of what they’ve got before they axe the program.”

TechSpot’s Shawn Knight observed, “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.”

TechCrunch’s Chris Velazco commented, “The real question here is what managed to turn off consumers more: the First’s relatively modest spec sheet, or its reliance on Facebook Home. If I were a betting man, my money would be on the latter considering the thorough drubbing that Facebook’s replacement launcher has received from reporters and users alike and the fact that interest in Home as a whole seems to be waning.”

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