back to article Report: AT&T dropping Facebook phone after dismal sales

Facebook's experiment with branded hardware may be coming to an abrupt end, according to a report that AT&T is discontinuing sales of the HTC First handset after finding that people won't buy it – even for 99 cents. The First is Facebook's showpiece for its Home application, the mobile application that Mark Zuckerberg said at …

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for 99 cents its worth buying them and rooting to remove the facebook home and then you would have a decent spec dual core Android phone

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and you'd have a fresh 2 year att contract that you have to deal with ? I don't think att would sell these for 99c without a contract.

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Yeah - I really hate the way that in the US people seem to think the upfront price is the full price. Perhaps the fallacy is more common because you have to pay upfront *and* pay through the contract, so people forget the latter. It's like saying a Samsung S4 in the UK is completely "free" (if we ignore the £30+/month contract that only gives the same service that you'd get for £15/month or so on SIM only...)

A shame to see the Register make this mistake.

What's the actual cost of this phone I wonder? Is this like 1st generation Chromebooks (where it's more expensive than the competition, so even people who want Facebook/Google figure they can just do that on another phone/laptop anyway), or current generation Chromebooks (where it really is a lower cost)?

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Thumb Up

I'm impressed!

With the Robocop reference. The phone? meh.

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Who saw that one coming....

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Windows

Well, everyone who remembers the Motorola Rokr for a start.

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Would put money on a lot more people than that...im shocked that they even sold 15,000 of those bad boys tbh I guess some people are really that serious about fb.

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yep

Yeah these are Microsoft Kin like numbers. Perhaps both will be a collector's item for nerds someday like original Atari 2600 games or something. Scarcity obviously shouldn't be a problem for either.

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Re: yep

3 times more popular than Kin!

I really, really want to hear some Microsoft spin on that ;)

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Pint

What he really meant...

Mark Zuckerberg said at its launch last month was aimed at attracting the next billion users by putting "Facebook first" on mobile.

Fixed it for him...

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titles are for toffs

:Nelson:

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Mushroom

Contract

The catch is in the contract worth $2000 - $3000 that's bound to the phone. The telco asks you to keep paying even if the phone they gave you is incapable of functioning. The telco and manufacturer are well defensed against continuous warranty repair claims. They keep your phone for two weeks each time and send it back as "operating as expected" while you keep paying the contract. The other option is legally fighting the contract. Nobody wants to risk that on a Facebook phone. (And why I will never buy from Sprint or Samsung again)

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Re: Contract

The phrase you're looking for is 'unconscionable contract'.

Phone companies do NOT want to hear that phrase anywhere near a court of law.

A few years ago, I returned from a 3 day trip to Iceland, involving light internet use. T-Mobile USA sent me a bill for $7,000. They swore left and right, back to front, that this charge was perfectly correct, very reasonable, accurately reflected the real cost of providing the service, and was indeed a bargain - and of course I had to pay it.

As soon as I mentioned 'unconscionable contract' they waived the entire bill…

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Re: Contract

Ah now, in fairness, it's only $1500!

(That's $40/month for the 450 minutes plan, and $20/month for the 300MB of Data!).

Remember how they used to say that Nuclear powered electricity would be "too cheap to meter"? AT&T Data seems to be like that - the Data itself doesn't cost much, but they have to charge you $19/month to handle the billing. That's about the only way that $20 for 300MB and $30 for 3GB makes any sense.

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Shame

It's a shame if they're dropping it, as it's the only (close to) stock android phone on ATT. And also the only (close to) stock Android phone with LTE in the US. Yes, it's only 4.1 and no, it's not a Nexus. But still...

We should not be surprised that it's not selling. You have to be able to see the phone to actually buy it. When I went to the two local ATT outlets near me (upstate NY, USA), the "licensed seller" store did not even know it was available and the "real" corporate store had it buried in a corner along with the dumb phones. The guys there were pushing the hell out of the GS4 and pooh-pooing the HTC1. The First was not even mentioned. When a girl complained about the size of those in her hand I mentioned the First. She was pleased, the employees were not.

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Re: Shame

It seems the phone which gives more commission wins now. :(

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Shame

"Re: Shame

It seems the phone which gives more commission wins now. :("

Only now?

So in the past two decades this has not been the case?

Wake up, you're all whores to one big company or another, you're owned by them and you can't see it happening. That is what you get for multimillion £/$ marketing campaigns, you pwn your customer base.

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Feel sorry for HTC

That they're so stuffed they have to partner with farcebook. Hope Zuck is footing their bill on this one.

They make solid products, generally, had two HTC's before my Sammy

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Facebook on mobiles

It's not that people don't want Facebook on their mobile... it's that they won't take it to take over their mobile.

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