AT&T will discontinue carrying the First after its in-store promotional contract with HTC expires, according to BGR, a blog that focuses on the wireless industry. A recent markdown of the phone to 99 cents from $100 represents the company’s effort to clear inventory, BGR reported.
Responding to an inquiry about the First, an AT&T representative said in a statement, “We have made no decisions about future plans.”
Facebook referred a request for comment to AT&T. HTC declined to comment “on rumors and speculation.”
First came news that downloads of the Home software were modest and consumer reviews of it were poor. Then last week, AT&T cut the up-front price on the phone, which many observers took as a sign of poor sales.
According to Google’s Play store, the Facebook Home software at the heart of the First has been downloaded between 1 million and 5 million times, although the number of downloads fell off dramatically after its first week or so. The nearly 17,000 people who have reviewed the software have given it an average rating of a two out of five stars.
When I tested Home on the HTC First last month, I was unimpressed, finding it both a distraction from other apps and that it offered users fewer ways to customize their Facebook experience that they’d actually want.
In Facebook’s earnings call earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was proud of Home and that the company would keep working to improve it. In an interview with the Mercury News last month, Facebook Director of Product Adam Mosseri laid out some of the future features on the Facebook Home roadmap.
Photo by Gary Reyes, Mercury News Staff Photographer.