Facebook is cancelling all pre-orders of HTC First, the Facebook phone, in Europe. This is the latest blow to hit Facebook’s foray into the mobile world after sluggish adoption of Home and even worse sales of the HTC First in the U.S.
EE, one of the European carriers slated to launch HTC First in Europe, gave the following statement to Engadget that sheds some light into what’s the latest deal with the Facebook phone.
“Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customization features to Facebook Home over the coming months. 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. Rest assured, 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.”
To cut to the chase, Facebook is purportedly holding back the HTC First from the European market until Facebook Home is ready for use. A wise move as most reviews for Home complain that it is a half-baked mess of promising features which lacks the more important capabilities of an Android launcher such as app docking and widget support.
Perhaps it is because of the Home software woes that the Facebook Home flagship phone, the HTC First, has suffered from extremely low sales. Barely a month after it launched, the HTC First’s price was cut to just 99 cents, with some saying that it was a last ditch effort to clear out the inventory and make shelf space for other phones.
In conclusion, European fans of HTC First won’t be getting one anytime soon. If you ask the U.S. users though, that may be a good thing. Facebook isn’t showing any signs of abandoning the venture so expect that by the time you do get your hands on a Facebook Home-capable phone, it will be a glorious experience by then.