‘Facebook phone’ on sale for 99 cents
Less than a month after its release, the HTC First, also known as the first “Facebook phone,” is selling for the clearance price of 99 cents with a two-year contract with AT&T.
The mid-range smartphone, which arrived on April 12 and was previously selling for $99, comes preloaded with Facebook Home, the social-networking software package that turns the device’s home screen and lock screen into Facebook-only zones.
The dramatically reduced price point seems to confirm our earlier suspicions that Facebook wasn’t proving to be much of a sales pitch.
HTC avoided sharing sales figures for the HTC First when it reported its first quarter earnings, but the company should get pass on the non-reveal since the device was only released after the close of the quarter. Additional anecdotal evidence suggested that, despite an aggressive television advertising campaign promoting Home as a fun way to keep your friends at the center of your phone, the First was flopping with consumers.
When reached for comment, an AT&T spokesperson said that the carrier does price promotions like this all time.
Still, with HTC and AT&T practically giving away the still-new phone, Facebook now faces the seemingly impossible task of convincing other handset makers that they too should preload its software suite onto their devices. It certainly won’t help that Home is getting terrible reviews on the Google Play Store from people who downloaded it to their Android smartphones.