It looks like the HTC First, the first true “Facebook Phone,” is about to be killed before it really gets a chance to live. According to a report from BGR, the first phone to come pre-installed with Facebook’s Android takeover Facebook Home will be discontinued by AT&T.
BGR cites a “trusted source” who says that sales of the HTC First have been so terrible that AT&T has decided to discontinue the device and return all unsold inventory to HTC.
The source doesn’t have exact figures on the sales, but apparently less than $15,000 units were sold since AT&T slashed the price to $0.99 (with a 2-year contract) last week.
For some perspective, BGR has been informed that sales of the HTC First have been even worse than HTC Chacha sales were back in 2011, when AT&T launched the ill-fated phone as the Status…We’re told that AT&T sales representatives do not like Facebook Home or the First at all, and they are making little if any effort to sell the handset to customers. Right now iPhones and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 are the biggest sellers at AT&T by a substantial margin, our source said.
Facebook and HTC announced the HTC First’s exclusive AT&T launch during their April 4th Facebook Home event.
The HTC First has been referred to as the “Facebook Phone,” because it came pre-installed with Facebook Home. Of course, Home is also available on a handful of other Android devices and has been available for download since April 12th. Home in general has been underperforming – although it just crossed a million installs, it has a terrible 2-star rating in the Google Play Store. The failure of the HTC first, if this report is accurate, simply underscores the fact that the Facebook Home experiment is well on its way to official bomb status.
We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this article accordingly.
UPDATE: Facebook is not commenting on the report. We have also contacted AT&T for comment.
UPDATE 2: AT&T had this to say:
“As mentioned previously, we do pricing promotions all the time and have made no decisions on future plans.”