After recent reports that the HTC First, aka the ‘Facebook phone’, wouldn’t come to the UK after all, EE has confirmed that it is “holding off” stocking the phone on the advice of Facebook itself.
The social network launched the Facebook phone alongside Facebook home, a launcher app that transformed an ordinary Android phone into a Facebook-centric device. Made by HTC, the First runs the Facebook Home launcher on top of stock Android, just like a Nexus device. Reviews have been kind, but sales have not, and now it seems as though the First will be a US-only device.
EE was thought to be the only network in the UK stocking the device as an exclusive, and after reaching out to them for comment on the rumours, Pocket-Lint received the following statement;
“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.”
Sales of the HTC First in the US are said to be very poor, with the phone selling in low numbers on AT&T. Recent rumours have suggested that the network, which is the only one in the US stocking the new phone, has plans to pull it from sale.
It seems that Facebook is looking to focus on the Facebook Home launcher going forward, which is available on other more successful devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One. Of course, there is also a chance that Facebook will put a newer version of Facebook Home on the HTC First before bringing it to the UK.