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Facebook pulls the plug on the HTC First, won't be coming to the UK

Facebook has decided to hold off the launch of the HTC first in the UK due to poor customer feedback in the US, instead opting to revamp the software.
May 23, 2013

With a dramatic price cut from $99 to just one cent on contract, and a rumored discontinuation in the US already, it’s becoming quite clear that HTC’s Facebook Home powered First is proving to be a bit of a disappointment. Continuing the handsets woes, UK pre-orders for the First are set to be cancelled and the handset won’t be put on sale anytime in the foreseeable future.

The decision appears to have come directly from Facebook rather than HTC or the handset’s European carrier partners EE and Orange.

After originally supposed to be offered as an exclusive to HTC, it seems like Facebook is really turning the screws on its partners by releasing Facebook Home early and now pulling the plug on further handset releases.

EE, one the UK’s leading carriers, has confirmed that the First won’t be heading to the UK, at least not in the near term, citing poor customer feedback as the prime reason behind the decision.

[quote qtext=”Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customization 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” qperson=”” qsource=”” qposition=”center”]

I can’t say that this comes as a total surprise — reviews for Facebook Home can be considered mixed at best, and with an ex-HTC employee recently calling the First a “disaster”, it might be wise for HTC to cut its losses on this one and move on to something else.

On the plus side, it looks like we’ll see a revamped, or at least a more customizable, Facebook Home heading our way in the future. But I suspect that it will take a pretty significant overhaul to convince consumers to adopt Facebook Home on mass, let along purchase a smartphone based around the software.

What do you think about the decision to pull the HTC First? Would you have bought one?