We didn’t know what to expect the first time HTC and AT&T collaborated on a “Facebook phone” of sorts. That little project was called the HTC Status, and while it was never positioned as a powerhouse device for serious smartphone users its appeal to the hundreds of millions of Facebook fans seemed to position itself for success. Even with attractive pricing and decent marketing, that didn’t happen.
The dynamic duo tried again with the HTC First, a no-frills phone with Facebook Home pre-installed. Might it succeed? Would this finally be the Facebook phone everyone has been waiting for? Kevin says it at least wasn’t bad enough to not consider, commending HTC for a solid, albeit a tad uninspired job with the phone’s hardware and light software.
Unfortunately, it seems like AT&T and HTC could have another stinker on their hands. BGR is reporting that AT&T is getting ready to discontinue the HTC First after disappointing sales. We imagined things weren’t going well when AT&T dropped its on-contract price to $.99 and its off-contract price by $100 to try and generate some sales. It looks like that huge discount may not have moved the needle much at all.
HTC and AT&T are being mum on the whole thing, of course, but we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that any of this is true. It doesn’t help that there’s another device on AT&T’s shelves by HTC — the HTC One — that might be taking thunder from almost any other device not named the Samsung Galaxy S4 or iPhone 5. While the price difference there is staggering, it’s the value people put into the phones that counts — some feel more comfortable paying $200 for an awesome phone than $1 for meh. And, to be honest, I don’t blame them at all.
The only question is how long is AT&T willing to wait before deciding to throw in the towel if this is, in fact, true? When or if it ever happens, BGR reports AT&T won’t even want to go through the trouble of sell-through — they’d ship the whole stinking heap right back on the first plane to Taiwan.