Facebook phone kicked to 99-cent bargain bin
With consumers failing to 'like' the device, AT&T is offering the Mark Zuckerberg brainchild at dollar-store prices.
A month ago, Facebook (FB) chief executive Mark Zuckerberg touted his company's first foray into mobile phones, telling consumers the HTC device would "turn your Android phone into a great social phone."
As it turns out, consumers aren't falling over themselves to "like" the HTC First phone, which has been shunted to the bargain bin after a mere five weeks on the market. AT&T (T) is selling the phone for 99 cents, marked down from the original $350, when bought with a two-year contract. (AT&T publishes the phone's original price at $350, although other sites say it was selling for $99.)
The phone was introduced last month after rumors that the social media giant would venture into mobile devices, given its desire to book more mobile ad dollars.
The phone includes a Facebook home screen that allows users to tap into their feeds and friends' updates and to start commenting. It also promoted the service's Chat Heads, those bubble-headed icons of your friends that alert you to a new message.
But the device received mediocre reviews, with CNET calling it a "forgettable handset, from midrange camera hardware to its utilitarian design." Techradar rather hilariously said the phone was "great once you dial back all that Facebook."
HTC declined to disclose the sales figures for the device when it reported results earlier this month, according to CNET. Anecdotal evidence suggests the phone isn't catching on, the tech site notes. AT&T told CNET that the carrier often offers such price promotions.
The phone was aimed at helping Facebook take over mobile screens from Google (GOOG), whose executives may be having a good laugh over the clearance-level price.
With its apparent failure to draw in consumers, Facebook now has another battle ahead of it: to convince other mobile device companies that its network is worth putting front and center.
Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.
Just keep the meaningless stories going so no one watches their U.S. representatives as they are about to pass the Internet Tax Mandate [H.R. 684].
Oh yes --- you will pony up to pay for more spending.
"Priced to move" - if bought with a two-year contract?
Free isn't a good deal if there's a "two-year contract" at the checkout.
I got a phone that does every thing I want in a phone for free.
It sends and receives calls for $10 a month and no contract.
Life is good for me.
Hell Facebook is on its way out anyway. Lately been locking up all the time. TIred of all the crap on there too.
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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