HTC First will be last in Europe after Facebook decides to delay release on EE and Orange
Following indifferent reviews and poor customer reception in its U.S. launch, Facebook has decided to delay the release of the HTC First in Europe so it has more time to make Facebook Home more appealing.
EE and Orange France have both issued statements that the HTC First has been delayed until Facebook can improve the software that powers the device. The statement, received by TechCrunch, reads:
“Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customisation 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.”
Facebook had hoped that the HTC First would be a way to showcase how a deeply-embedded Facebook software package on Android would increase engagement of its services. However, the $99 phone quickly dropped to only 99-cents on AT&T amid rumors that sales had been surprisingly low and neared discontinuation. Facebook has asked its carrier partners to delay the release of the First in an effort to make a better first impression in European markets. Barring a massive change in Home and a very low price, the “Facebook phone” may not find European terrain any more welcoming than it did North American shores.