Not every phone seems to get a fair shake. Of course, we all know that no matter how great a phone sounds on paper, or how big an event may be, it doesn't always equal a huge success once it lands on store shelves. Indeed, once a phone launches it's anyone's guess what may really happen.

Sure, there are some safe bets, but once it's ultimately up to the consumer, anything can happen.

That's why it's always interesting to see how well a new phone fares out in the wild. A new phone, with a major new feature, rather than an evolutionary upgrade from a past model. How will it stand against devices that *are* updates of past devices? Does it ultimately stand a chance?

Based on an article published by Boy Genius Report, it may not be going that well for one such device. If you'll recall, HTC's First, the first device to launch with Facebook Home preinstalled (first!), launched on April 12 on AT&T's network.  It did so with a price tag set at $100. That's with a new, two-year contract. About a week ago, that price dropped from $100 down to ninety nine cents.

As you can imagine, that raised some eyebrows.

Now, that report from BGR. They've heard from one of their reliable sources that AT&T is gearing up to can the phone completely. The report suggests that AT&T sold fewer than 15,000 units since last week, when the phone saw its deep price drop. Here's where you'd cue the doomsday music.

The interesting part about this, is that the HTC First isn't a bad phone. In fact, when Aaron reviewed it, he said he'd recommend it for the right person. And, as our own Anna Scantlin suggested, the First is indeed a great "first phone." It's not meant to take the throne as the "next big thing," or even be considered as a high-end device. The First is indeed a mid-range device, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Not every phone that launches *has* to be a high-end device. At least, I hope not.

BGR points out that according to their source, customer support representatives in AT&T stores aren't going out of their way to sell the First. In fact, the report says CSRs simply "don't like" Facebook Home or the First "at all." They'd much rather sell devices like Apple's iPhone 5 or Samsung's Galaxy S 4, apparently.

This isn't new. Actually, I've heard and seen quite the same. In my times within AT&T locations, I've never seen an HTC First that's actually functional. There's a demo video playing on them, but you can't get passed it. Once you try, it prompts you to sign into your Facebook account, and I've yet to see a First that's logged into an account. So, essentially, you can't use the First.

I've asked CSRs if they sell the phone. They've told me no.

Now, I'm sure it's not like this in every store. At least, I hope not. But from what I've seen, I'm not at all surprised that this report from *BGR* suggests what it does.

But as I mentioned earlier, it's interesting to see a phone like the First, which isn't a *bad phone*, go the way of the Dodo already. It's only been a month! I believe wholeheartedly that this phone deserves a bit more shelf life than that. If not just because it isn't a bad device, but because I want to see how Facebook handles those monthly updates they promised for Home. Will they continue, even if it just the app that sees the future?

Have you been able to get your hands on a First at all? If you did, what did you think of it? Or did you skip the device because it wasn't for you at all? Should AT&T, HTC and Facebook have launched the device at ninety nine cents? Or even free? Did the $100 price tag doom the device out of the gate? Let me know what you think.

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Products mentioned in this Article

eBay prices for the HTC First Black

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Comments & discussions  

18 Reactions to this post

"Does the HTC First deserve to be discontinued already, or should it get a bit more shelf life?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Rangga Hermawan
Rangga Hermawan that done buy globe ?
Travis St John
Travis St John It looks like everyone dislikes fb home. So just remove the software and sell the device with pure android!! You can't go wrong with that.
Santiago Alexander Cruz
Santiago Alexander Cruz Free with a contract.
David Juarez
David Juarez also, their big issue is that they flooded all this money into a phone when the whole thing is a freakin' launcher. And can be downloaded for FREE on most phones now. They should have just launched the launcher on the playstore and played it safe. Now not only have they let customers down with a phone that has no support/or will have no support, but people who are into facebook. I keep seeing articles pop up about how the 1millionth facebook home app downloaded just happened. They arent taking into account how many of those were uninstalls or poorly rated. I remember signing up for facebook back when it was JUST for college students. It went downhill when you let everyone in. Not saying connecting with long time friends is bad, but with the flop of myspace , all those people are what made facebook popular. If it wasnt for all my family being on here, id delete my account permanently. I am unplugging from it and connecting with them the old fashioned way: phone calls, texts, mail, email. The app hasnt been on my phone in a few months now.
David Juarez
David Juarez zuckerberg and co. could have donated all that wasted money to charity, since they were all about being people-centric. People need to disconnect once in a while instead of being forced to be "online" 24/7.
Mark Fisher Jr.
Mark Fisher Jr. Cut it.
Davion Harvey
Davion Harvey This is FUCKING HILARIOUS..... If true! Mark can "Add" the HTC First to his FlopBook
Noshad Islam
Noshad Islam Drop it
Chris Kang
Chris Kang ehh, the touchpad deserved more
Micca Koster
Micca Koster I would say get rid of it
Jaime Espinoza
Jaime Espinoza HTC what?
Jimmy Lamb
Jimmy Lamb The whole idea of the htc first is just silly! It should be free.
Charlie Ebner
Charlie Ebner The HTC one is taking the spotlight so take the First off of the shelf. It doesn't seem like anyone is buying it and/or giving it much attention.
Matthew Swanson
Matthew Swanson Yes total waste and a flop, just like Facebook home.
James Frazier
James Frazier This is just like their stock, a big hoopla about how awesome it is, then it falls through the floor.
Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson There is no need of demand for this type of phone. If HTC wonders why it's losing or had lost money, it's because they wasted it on phones like this and the status,
Linh Nhat Ha
Linh Nhat Ha Got Facebook home on my HTC One and deleted it after 10 minutes. It is just simply boring. HTC First phone won't be any difference. When people sign up for the contract, low end phone isn't the one.
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Can it.

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