In an interview with CNET, AT&T’s CEO Ralph de la Vega has stated that the carrier has now sold off all of its remaining Facebook Home powered HTC First handsets. Interestingly, he declined to indicate exactly how many handsets AT&T had sold, which certainly raised a flag or two.
Now, usually you’d consider selling out all of your handsets to be a sign of strong demand, but we’re quite sure that the HTC First hasn’t exactly been popular. After all, AT&T knocked the price of the First down rather significantly from the $99 starting price to just $0.99, which no doubt helped shift the carrier’s remaining stock.
In fact the handset has been described as a bit of a disaster for HTC, leading to its launch being cancelled in the UK and, without any other manufacturers keen to jump on the sinking Facebook Home ship, it looks like the venture is over, at least for the foreseeable future.
Whilst it may not have been particularly surprising that sales of the First have been slowly wound down, De la Vega also made an interesting comparison between the HTC First and the ill-fated Motorola ROKR. You may recall that the ROKR was Apple’s first attempt at breaking into the cell phone market, by integrating iTunes with the handset. But the phone ended up being a total flop, and that’s putting it nicely.
However, De la Vega believes that even though the initial handset was a failure, it did give AT&T a head start and an “inside track” when it came to selling the iPhone. De la Vega also stated that he is committing to working on different iterations of products with its partners.
So, is he perhaps hinting that Facebook Home could well come back at some point in the future in an updated form on a different handset? Have a little read of this quote and decide for yourself.
We have a great relationship with Apple just like we have a great relationship with Facebook… We look forward to working with them to make Home better.
Either way, we bid farewell to the HTC First for now, but I can’t say that it’s a handset that will be particularly missed.