Facebook ‘Holding Off’ on Launching HTC First in UK and France

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The HTC First, the mid-range smartphone most notable for being the first phone to come with Facebook Home pre-installed, will not be going on sale in the UK or France for the foreseeable future.

\"HTCMobile News was the first to report the issue, but now Facebook, EE, the carrier that was on track to exclusively sell the First in the UK, and Orange, the exclusive carrier in France, have all issued statements saying that device’s launch will be delayed for the time being.

Facebook’s official statement on the matter says that the delay will be due to addressing customer feedback by adding “customization features.”

Here it is in full: “We’ve listened to feedback from users on their experience using Home. While many people love it, we’ve heard a lot of great feedback about how to make Home substantially better. As a result we’re focusing the next few months on adding customization features that address the feedback we received. While we focus on making Home better, we are going to limit supporting new devices and think it makes a lot of sense for EE and Orange to hold off deploying the HTC First in Europe.”

\"HTCEE and Orange echoed similar sentiments, with EE noting that Facebook will be adding these customization features to Home “over the coming months.” EE says that it will “shortly be contacting those who registered their interest” in the First to let them know of the sudden changes. Mobile News reports that those UK pre-orders will be cancelled.

HTC and EE were not immediately available for further comment, while Facebook declined TechnologyGuide\’s request.

This looks like bad news for Facebook, but also for HTC, which has reportedly been experiencing internal turmoil in recent weeks and has seen declining profits over the last several quarters. Its HTC One is reportedly selling well, but the HTC First appears to have been doing anything but.

No official sales figures on the First have been released, but earlier this month AT&T, the device’s exclusive carrier in the US, dropped the First’s price from $100 to $0.99 only a few weeks after its launch. AT&T has maintained that the price cut is no different from any other sales promotion, but it\’s worth noting the Home software is also available as a free download in the Google Play store for a limited number of high-end phones. It also appears to be unpopular with users and critics alike; its Google Play rating is very much subpar, and TechnologyGuide was just of many publications that panned the software in its review.

Source: Mobile News



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