HTC First

'Facebook phone' skipping British release, EE spokesperson confirms

It looks like the HTC First might never see the light of day in the UK, as a spokesperson for carrier partner EE has confirmed to Android Central that Facebook is holding off plans to bring the handset to British shores. "Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customisation features to Facebook Home over the coming months," the spokesperson said, "While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK, and so we will shortly be contacting those who registered their interest with us to let them know of this decision."

Despite the decision to hold off the HTC First launch, the EE spokesperson said "we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future."

The HTC First went on sale in the U.S. on AT&T last month, but had its price dropped from $99 to 99 cents on contract amid widespread rumors of poor sales. If the First has performed as badly as is being reported, this might explain the decision to curtail any wider launch plans.

An HTC spokesperson declined to comment on the report.


Reader comments

Confirmed: Facebook holding off HTC First UK launch


What were HTC and Facebook expecting? This obviously wasn't going to fly off the shelves like the S4 or even the One...especially with a carrier exclusivity.

If they showed people how to turn Facebook Home off, and showed them what a great device it is for the price, they might sell more....

i walked into an ATT store the other day and noticed the first there. picked it up, hit the home button and it was asking if i wanted to try 'FB HOME" or not. I said no, and it threw me into an AOSP experience.

performance was not up to my Gnex in terms of smoothness and opening apps (not sure if that was the processor or the crap that these demo phones have gone though) but it was a nice little phone. nice build quality, beautiful screen (HTC should stick to this "bubble" type screen they use on this and the HTC OneX) its like it is floating above the device.

either way, the FB phone is a flop simple because most people dont know about stock android sitting under it. and the ones that do know, would rather pony up the extra $$ to get a top spec phone.

I said this yesterday - HTC should have just made this phone without their name or marking. "First" vs "One" was confusing and now they have their name attached to a failed launch. They should have let Facebook be responsible for the promotion (and subsequent failure); maybe then Facebook wouldn't have provided the Home program to other phones.

They should of tested the waters for a few weeks with just the Facebook launcher, instead of going balls deep with an actual phone.

They would of learned really quick that even hardcore Facebook users don't like the launcher, and further preventing a flop like they have on their hands now.

If it had been $249 off contract, I think maybe someone may think about it. Galaxy S3 and other HTCs are the same on-contract price and can have the Facebook Home if the user wants it. So it's like a no-brainer for any consumer to simply go with other choices.
Later you wonder why HTC is not making profits. They take on many joint ventures that aren't profitable.
Besides Facebook needs to develop software that goes more in line of the Google I/O session pointed out by Jerry:
"google i/o session android design principles because it's awesome"

Facebook, how about you tell the TRUTH. No one bought that crappy phone. Stop with the PR bs.