By Alexandra Burlacu | May 14, 2013 11:49 AM EDT
The HTC First, commonly known as the Facebook phone, is apparently a big fail and AT&T is reportedly ready to discontinue the handset.
When AT&T dropped the price of the HTC First to just $0.99 on a contract one month after the phone's debut, many wondered whether the smartphone is officially a flop already. AT&T denied such allegations at the time and said the new price was simply a promotional campaign.
As it turns out, however, BGR confirmed that the little experiment from HTC and Facebook is about to reach its end. The publication claims it learned from a "trusted source" that sales of the Facebook phone proved "shockingly bad." Consequently, AT&T decided to discontinue the phone.
BGR's source at AT&T reportedly confirmed the move as well. The HTC First, the first smartphone to ship with Facebook Home pre-installed, putting the social network front and center, will soon hit the end of the road. AT&T will discontinue the handset and unsold inventory will return to HTC.
It remains unclear at this point just how much unsold inventory is in question, but it's probably a lot. BGR's source claims AT&T sold fewer than 15,000 units nationwide through the last week, even with the $0.99 price tag.
Sales of the HTC First were reportedly even worse than sales of the HTC Chacha back in 2011, when the same carrier, AT&T, launched the phone as the HTC Status. The new report further notes that AT&T sales representatives are not impressed with Facebook Home or the HTC First at all, so they are making little to no efforts to sell the smartphone to AT&T customers. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhones are currently the biggest sellers at AT&T, "by a substantial margin."
The report gives no exact date for when the HTC First will go off AT&T store shelves. The carrier's recent price cut to $0.99 for the Facebook phone clearly aims to clear as much inventory as possible. AT*T will then discontinue the phone as HTC's in-store display contract expires. HTC reportedly paid to reserve display space in AT&T retail stores for a period of time, which means the carrier cannot take the phone off shelves until the contract expires.
AT&T declined to comment on the report at first, but later contacted BGR with a brief statement:
"As mentioned previously, we do pricing promotions all the time and have made no decisions on future plans."
In other words, AT&T did not confirm the news, but it didn't actually deny it either. HTC made no comment so far.
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