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More signs of imminent doom for ‘Facebook phone’: U.K. launch canceled

Published May 23rd, 2013 9:35AM EDT
HTC First UK Release Date

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BGR exclusively reported last week that HTC’s First, also known as the “Facebook phone,” will soon be discontinued at AT&T. Sales during the phone’s first month of availability totaled less than 15,000 units according to our source, and AT&T has given up hope that things might turn around. According to a new report, AT&T isn’t alone.

Mobile News on Thursday reported that the HTC First’s launch has been canceled in the United Kingdom. Facebook, which is footing the bill for HTC’s new handset, reportedly made the decision and all preorders will be canceled.

“The HTC First has been pulled and will never go on sale in the UK,” the blog’s unnamed source said. “Sales in the US were poor and Facebook has taken the decision not to give it a more widespread release.”

Engadget followed up on the report and got the following statement from Facebook:

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, 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.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.