After just a mere month, AT&T is allegedly ready to discontinue the HTC First and send unsold units back to HTC following poor sales of the device.
A BGR report claims that AT&T will discontinue the HTC First as soon as it is able to. Prior to the phone’s release, HTC purchased shelf space in AT&T stores for the HTC First. As a result AT&T has to wait for that agreement to end. As soon as the period is over, however, the carrier may stop carrying the “Facebook phone.”
One BGR source claims that AT&T sold 15,000 units of the HTC First in the U.S. through last week, which is incredibly low for any smartphone. Sales of the phone are even lower than sales of the HTC Status, HTC’s previous Facebook-centric phone that AT&T offered in 2011. That phone sold poorly as well.
AT&T retail employees are one reason for the HTC First’s poor sales. Employees reportedly disliked the HTC First and Facebook Home which comes pre-installed on the device. Employees instead showed customers the iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy S4, reportedly the two best sellers on the carrier at the moment.
AT&T recently dropped the price of the HTC First from $99.99 to $0.99 on a two-year contract. The carrier allegedly lowered the price to clear out as much stock of the phone as possible before it sends the remaining stock back to HTC. It’s not clear what impact, if any, the price drop had on the first phone to ship with Facebook Home.
The disappointment of the HTC First may dissuade Facebook’s carrier and manufacturing partners from releasing new phones that come with Facebook Home pre-installed. The company is working to improve Facebook Home with plans to bring an app dock and widgets to the custom launcher. Those improvement may make Facebook Home more attractive to Android users, but for now it seems many just don’t want to use Facebook’s vision of a phone.
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