Disaster! Facebook Home Phone HTC First Now Going for 99-Cents at AT&T

Remember the massive hype about Facebook Home and its initial launch on the HTC First Android mobile phone less than a month ago.

Mark Zuckerberg and his minions breathlessly declared at the Facebook Home unveiling on April 9 that mobile phones ought to be designed around people first instead of apps blah blah blah.

And bringing the supposed wonders of Facebook Home to the masses first was HTC First costing $99 (with a two-year contract) at U.S. mobile carrier AT&T.

HTC First is a 4.3-inch touch screen, mid-range smartphone running Android 4.1 JellyBean software with 16GB storage, a 5MP rear camera and a 1.6MP front camera.

Features wise, HTC First is not a bad phone but definitely not in the class of the far superior HTC One.

AT&T pitched the HTC First to potential customers above all as a Facebook Home phone providing a “mobile experience that puts your friends at the heart of your phone.”

HTC First Now Going for 99-Cents

But you can only fool the sheep so much about the need to be constantly connected with your friends.

So less than a month after Facebook Home debuted on the $99 HTC First phone, AT&T has slashed the price of the device to, hold your breath now, 99-cents.

The unmistakable conclusion is that the appeal of Facebook Home was not compelling enough to persuade customers to buy the HTC First phone.

Facebook Home – Nonsense

Even as I watched Mark Zuckerberg’s presentation last month and his spiel about mobile phones being designed around people first, I knew this Facebook Home user interface that layers on top of the Android device was not going anywhere.

People are not going to sacrifice the home screen to Facebook just to receive endless streams about their friends each time they look at their phones.

Remember, greater minds than Zuckerberg like Plato, Socrates, Galileo, Newton and Shakespeare were not “connected” all the time to their friends.

Facebook Home is basically a portmanteau of Facebook apps including Cover Feed (News Feed or the important stuff), Chat Heads (messaging or the supposedly critical stuff), notifications and an app launcher for your existing apps.

Besides the ho-hum reception to Facebook Home and HTC First device, HTC and its carrier partner AT&T were also hit by the greater appeal of the HTC One phone that has come out around the same time. HTC One does not have Facebook Home installed on it.

Here’s the big challenge for Facebook now – if HTC First with Facebook Home is such a dud that it’s being given away for 99-cents why would any other mobile phone vendor or carrier jump on the Facebook Home interface.

4 Responses to "Disaster! Facebook Home Phone HTC First Now Going for 99-Cents at AT&T"

  1. Madmax673   May 9, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I think a lot of apps will develop even wider & faster if they sever their ties with Facebook. It’s just overwhelmingly irritating!

    Btw, SI — please check your email!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Sorry sweetie, the movie (you mentioned in your note) is one I intend to review myself.

    I finally got around to watching Jerry Maguire last night and at last a Tom Cruise film I thoroughly enjoyed. Will do a post in a few hours.

  2. Madmax673   May 9, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Sounds great! Hope you enjoy the movie I mentioned 😉

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    For some reason, I’m connecting the movie to Paperboy, a book I read lately (and also out as a movie now).

    Perhaps because both are set in the South and feature the same actor.

    • Madmax673   May 9, 2013 at 10:43 am

      I just watched “Paperboy”, this Tuesday night. Didn’t enjoy it that much.

      No smokin’ hot scenes with Nicole Kidman either compared to some of her other works 😀

      And the casting of John Cusack as Wetter sucked! No chemistry at all.

      Some decent books screw up onscreen. I liked “Savages” novel. Didn’t think highly of the movie. I heard “Shoeless Joe” (“Field of Dreams”) was a bad book but a fantastic movie!

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Paperboy is a decent book. I read it a few months back and enjoyed it.

      The beauty of good books is that you can effortlessly see the pictures flashing by as you read.

      I can never forget the ice-cream scene outside the shack (near the river) in Paperboy. Did it make it into the movie?

  3. Madmax673   May 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I don’t remember seeing that scene. (I haven’t read the book btw).

    Also, they also changed the ending from what I see on the book description. The whole movie starts out as a narrative from the black maid’s point of view.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login