HTC First, AKA The Facebook Phone, Is Already Being Discontinued

Hey, remember when Facebook made a version of Android, and the only good thing about it was the lockscreen? We’re reminding you because we know you promptly forgot about it. We’ve seen the sales figures that prove it.

Yes, it turns out that a company not noted for respecting your privacy putting out a phone that likely spies on your every move was so unpopular, AT&T is pulling the pin and calling it a day:

The phones, released just over a month ago, will be returned as unsold inventory to HTC, with only 15,000 handsets making it into customers’ hands. … Last Thursday, the First was discounted to a mere 99¢. Just four days later, it appears AT&T can no longer bear the shame of associating itself with Facebook’s unwanted Android love-child.

The problem largely boiled down to the fact that Facebook Home was just too broken a version of Android. So few Facebook employees use Android in the first place that they didn’t realize the appeal largely lies in how customizable the system is. Facebook Home didn’t allow for widgets, made it difficult to get at the file system, and there were reports of docking problems on top of everything else. It’s so unpopular that “HTC First disable facebook home” is actually a trending search term for the device. The fact that the hardware was OK but not great likely didn’t help matters, either.

Really, though, a comment on our first report summed it up: Facebook built Home around what they wanted, not what the consumer wanted. Unsurprisingly, the consumer stayed away and continued to buy phones from companies that at least ask before digging through your trash. So, hopefully Facebook has learned its lesson and will leave breaking Android to the people who can make money at it.