HTC Facebook Phone Discontinued After Just 5 Weeks

by Dale Wright

The Facebook phone launched just last month has already been discontinued, according to US bloggers.

The HTC First was Facebook’s latest experiment with branded smartphones, having previously had its logo used on the HTC ChaCha. Now, the HTC First is destined for the bargain basement in America after a grand total of 34 days in stores.

The HTC First is – or was – a fairly capable Android handset that comes with Facebook Home pre-installed. Facebook Home is also available to download from the App store, so the hardware seems slightly redundant given that the app is free anyway.

Eagle-eyed buyers may have noticed one US carrier drop the price of the HTC First from $99 to 99 cents after less than a month. According to AT&T, the network responsible, it had sold fewer than 15,000 phones and has now given up on the handset completely. AT&T has refused to comment.

Facebook will now have to ask itself whether it has the dominance it thinks it has. Clearly Android users don’t think it’s worth sacrificing their entire operating system to use the social network. The Facebook Home app is proving to be niche at best; at worst, it’s downright unpopular. According to Josh Costine from TechCrunch, the app was built for Android by people who normally use iOS, so that may be why it’s missing many of the features Android users cherish, such as widgets.

Facebook Home was Facebook’s best bet for delivering more adverts to Android users. And last week, we reported that Facebook is apparently going to force us to watch video advertising when we log on via our laptops and desktop computers. Unfortunately the relentless push for monetisation seems to be leading the company astray from its original purpose, and Facebook’s failure is bound to be bad news for struggling HTC.