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HTC First not sold out at AT&T as CEO claims

Posted: , by Alan F.

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HTC First not sold out at AT&T as CEO claims
How do you get rid of a poor selling handset that was rumored to have sold only 10,000 units in its first month of availability? Cutting the price from $99.99 to 99 cents is one way to get the phones out of your warehouse. This is the situation that AT&T was faced with after the HTC First was launched in April. The only Android phone pre-installed with the Facebook Home launcher, the terrible reviews given to the launcher by those who installed it from the Google Play Store didn't help sales of the HTC handset.

It also didn't help that Facebook developers were too much into their Apple iPhones and didn't consider things like widgets that are a staple on Android, but are a no-no for iOS. Cover Feed might have made Facebook larger than life on Android home screens, but it wasn't what the people wanted. Rumors spread that AT&T was going to drop the phone and a planned launch in the U.K.was canceled by Facebook.

On Tuesday, after AT&T's top mobile executive Ralph de la Vega said that the carrier had sold out of the HTC First, it seemed that some sort of congratulations was in order. Considering that no other OEM wants to go near Facebook Home right now, all we can assume is that AT&T reps pushed a 99 cent phone. For 99 cents, the device is a good buy with a 4.3 inch screen and a 720 x 1280 resolution, leaving a strong 341ppi pixel density on a Super LCD 3 screen. And while it might be considered under-powered with a dual-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor under the hood, did we say this was 99 cents on contract?

But if you were planning on applauding AT&T for a job well done, better hold that applause. As it turns out, AT&T's own web site shows at least 50 stores in the New York City area still have the phone in stock and some are reporting that they have quite a few units left. 

source: CNET, BGR

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posted on 26 Jun 2013, 03:19

1. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

Nobody likes you Facebook.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 03:22

2. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

This is now the second time that Facebook has tried to push its product onto a mediocre phone, and the second time people have given Facebook the middle finger. Didn't they learn from the Merge?

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 03:36

5. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

I wouldn't call it mediocre. It was a very respectable mid-range handset, with a great display and very sufficient processor for stock Android. The fact that you could get it for a dollar on contract made it a spectacular deal. Facebook ruined it though; if HTC had just turned Facebook down and sold/marketed it as a stock Android device, it probably would have sold more.

Memories of the previous Facebook phones linger, and this phone will join them as another failure.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 03:37

6. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Okay, I'll grant that the First is way, way f**king better than the Merge. But I'd still rather get the Xperia TL instead.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 03:47

7. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

I think you might be confusing the Merge for the Status/ChaCha or the Salsa. The Merge was never marketed as a Facebook phone from what I remember.

I'm not sure about the TL over the First. The First has S-LCD3 compared to the plain TFT on the TL, and it has a bigger battery. Plus, you could do a lot with stock 4.1.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 04:14

8. Sniggly (Posts: 7305; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)

Oh yeah, I remember now. You're right, it was the Status. I apologize.

I used the TL for a weekend and loved it, and it's not marred by Facebook's bulls**t.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 04:22 1

9. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)

At least you can turn Facebook Home off, though I'm not sure if you could completely uninstall it. I would personally prefer the First because of it's more efficient SoC and better display, but to each his own.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 03:26

3. abcdefgh (banned) (Posts: 471; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)

somebody show them the way to come out of US coz it wouldve been available in my country if they knew the way.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 03:35

4. Topcat488 (Posts: 1396; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)

Maybe they should sell the rest of the phone in the stockroom to the NSA, or give them to the U.S. government for "FREE". This way creating their own "Facebook Internet" called FBI... But really they should have just made a "Launcher" for .99 cents. Hahaha in your face Facebook.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 04:38

10. supa_dupa (Posts: 80; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)

Load Sense 5 on it and it will sell well at that price...

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 08:42

11. Gdrye (Posts: 111; Member since: 02 Jan 2012)

I hope I don't get fired. But no that phone IS NOT SOLD OUT. I only sold one at $99, but after the price cut I called him in to get his price protection. After the price cut I sold about 4 more. All to cheap parents of teenies tho. I feel that if it was called the Instagram home and not Facebook home it would have sold better. The Facebook name doesn't sell.

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 08:46

12. tigermcm (Posts: 860; Member since: 02 Sep 2009)

um I think any regular person could've told us the phone WASNT sold out. Yes many people use social sites alot but lets be honest with ourselves who wants a "social site" phone?? On another note I see myspace is putting out commercials.....

posted on 26 Jun 2013, 10:40

13. VictorP (Posts: 24; Member since: 29 May 2013)

I work for At&t and we sold more of the HTC Firsts with Facebook home disabled. It was more like an HTC Nexus for .99 cents.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 00:32

14. miamiheatfan6 (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Jun 2013)

@victorp I believe u I just added a line to my at&t account and the sales rep tryed selling me one and told me its just like a nexus when you disable Facebook home.but I got me that Samsung note 2 for 99 cents that sale didn't last long..

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