HTC may discontinue Facebook phone HTC First

Taiwanese smartphone company HTC is planning to discontinue the HTC First, known as the Facebook phone.

Sale of the device is not up to expectations. In fact, downloads of Facebook Home have been decreasing fast.

Unsold inventory soon will be returned to the Taiwanese phone maker. The device went on sale in the U.S. on April 12 from carrier AT&T. But AT&T is not happy with the outcome.

On April 4, AT&T said it has teamed up with HTC and Facebook to develop and launch the HTC First, the first and only smartphone built to feature Facebook Home, which puts your friends at the heart of your phone. Facebook Home is the first mobile experience designed to give latest updates right on your home screen and messages.

HTC FirstFacebook announced its Facebook Home software for Google Android-based smartphones on April 4 for $99.99 with a two-year commitment and available exclusively in AT&T stores and online.

It described Home as software that turns your Android phone into a great, living, social phone.

HTC was also bullish about HTC First.

Peter Chou, CEO, HTC, recently, said: “HTC has a track record of providing beautiful hardware design, and of being first-to-market with smartphone innovations.”The HTC First continues that track record, providing AT&T customers with a unique home experience that puts a user’s friends and family at the center of their mobile experience.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Founder and CEO, was also eager to build on its smartphone business.

During the launch, Zuckerberg said:  “Home is a completely new experience for your phone. With Home available right out of the box, you’re getting the best quality experience for connecting with your friends.”

Facebook Home brings your News Feed to the surface, immediately giving you the content you care about right on your home screen when you turn on your phone without having to open an app or access a mobile website. Just sign into your Facebook account and begin using Home – no need for download or configuration.

Facebook Home connects you directly with your friends, whether it’s their real-time updates and newest photo uploads being streamed on your cover feed or the ability to chat with friends without jumping in and out of apps.

But considering the response from AT&T, HTC First will be a flop in the global markets.

Response from Orange and EE, which are also selling HTC First, is yet to be arrived.

Jean-Paul Cottet, executive vice president, Marketing & Innovation at Orange, said, earlier: “Orange has worked with Facebook to bring the best possible Facebook experience to our customers around the world for years, from increasing mobile access to Facebook in emerging markets to the launch of Home today.”

If the response is poor in global markets, HTC First will be the first smartphone to be pulled out of the market after one month of launch due to weak demand.

Baburajan K
[email protected]