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Summary:

Reports are surfacing that AT&T plans to discontinue Facebook’s HTC First phone, which just launched last month. The carrier had already dropped the price of the phone to 99 cents, it announced last week, and could spell bad news for Facebook’s mobile plans.

HTC First phone

Sales of Facebook’s HTC First phone have been disapointing so far, and not only has AT&T discounted the phone as we previously reported, the carrier has decided to discontinue the phone altogether, BGR reported Monday.

Facebook debuted both its Home on Android launcher and the HTC First about a month ago in early April, but by last week my colleauge Kevin Tofel reported that AT&T had dropped the price of the phone to 99 cents with a contract. Om’s full review of the HTC First can be found here.

While phone promotions are common, it didn’t seem like a vote of confidence for the HTC First sales, which have only totalled 15,000 so far, according to the report. Kevin wrote why it could be a challenge to get consumers to pick them up:

“It’s difficult enough for a high-end flagship phone to stand out from its peers, let alone a mid-range handset. Frankly, I can’t see how Facebook Home helps the HTC First differentiate itself enough; particularly when the software is already available for download on better phones and is expected to arrive on other handsets in the future. Sorry Facebook, I don’t think the market likes your attempt at a smartphone.”

Facebook declined to comment on the report and referred me to AT&T, which has not yet responded to requests for comment. BGR has uncorked some whoppers in the past, such as a 2012 report that Sprint would be getting the iPhone 5 exclusively, but this report makes sense given the lackluster interest in Facebook Home and this phone in particular.

Facebook’s Home on Android has also suffered from poor reviews, garnering only two stars in the Google Play store, although Facebook said last week that it was working on some improvements that would make the app more appealing for Android users.

Updated at 2:25 PM: An AT&T spokesperson provided us with this statement: “As mentioned previously, we do pricing promotions all the time and have made no decisions on future plans.”

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  1. Evan Jacobs Monday, May 13, 2013

    I can’t say I’m surprised. AT&T customers want high-end devices, not mid-range or low-end because of the strongly subsidized prices. This phone was doomed from the start, even before you tack on the added complexity of an unproven and unfamiliar UI.

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