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Legere rips Amazon with brutal ‘Facebook phone’ comparison

Updated Jun 17th, 2014 2:33PM EDT
Amazon Smartphone AT&T Exclusivity Deal

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If you don’t understand why Amazon is releasing its first smartphone as an exclusive device for AT&T, you aren’t alone. T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to Twitter on Tuesday to bash Amazon for its reported decision to go with AT&T as its exclusive carrier for the new smartphone it will unveil on Wednesday.

“Whew! Amazon doesn’t know what they just signed up for,” wrote the abrasive wireless executive. “Remember the Facebook phone? Yikes.”

The “Facebook phone” Legere’s referring to is the HTC First, the Facebook-centric device that released last year exclusively on AT&T and that was one of the most infamous smartphone flops in recent history. In fact, sales for the First were so horrific that AT&T even decided to discontinue sales of the phone after just a month.

In followup tweets, Legere made clear that his problem with Amazon’s decision lay more with rival carrier AT&T than with Amazon’s smartphone itself.

“Exclusivity sucks for customers,” Legere wrote. “Exclusivity on AT&T sucks for the industry… Let’s hope Amazon doesn’t fall victim to the AT&T curse that is the Facebook phone.”

UPDATE: It’s worth noting, as Business Insider’s Steve Kovach does, that T-Mobile has exclusive smartphones of its own. So while Legere may have a point about carrier exclusives being bad for consumers, it’s not as though his company is doing anything differently.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.