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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:34 PM   #1
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AT&T Sells Out of HTC First Inventory at $0.99, Compares Experience to Apple's Motorola ROKR Experiment




Back in April, Facebook and HTC teamed up to unveil the first "Facebook Phone," which turned out to the HTC First equipped with Facebook's "Home" software, which brought an integrated Facebook experience to the device.

Both Facebook Home and the HTC First turned out to be unpopular with Android users, with the software garnering quite a few negative reviews in the Google Play store and AT&T deciding to drop the price on the phone from $99 to $0.99 shortly after its release.

According to AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega, though the HTC First failed to catch on, it wasn't an entirely negative experience for the company. "We sold a bunch more when we lowered the price," he told CNET in an interview on Monday. "We sold everything we had on that." Despite the fact that Vega says AT&T has sold all of its HTC First phones, they remain in stock both on the website and in stores, making the phone's official status unclear.

Vega declined to discuss how many units AT&T has managed to sell thus far, but he did compare AT&T's experience with the HTC First to Apple's experience with the Motorola ROKR.

Introduced in 2005, the Motorola ROKR featured iTunes integration, offering users a way to play music purchased from the iTunes Store. It came equipped with a music player similar to Apple's iPods, but like the HTC First, it experienced lackluster sales and was discontinued the next year.

Two years after the failure of the ROKR, which was Apple's first foray into the phone market, the iPhone was released. Vega is confident that Facebook may have a similar experience and told CNET that AT&T is committed to continuing to work with the company.

"We have a great relationship with Apple just like we have a great relationship with Facebook," he said. "We look forward to working with them to make Home better."

Article Link: AT&T Sells Out of HTC First Inventory at $0.99, Compares Experience to Apple's Motorola ROKR Experiment
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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Mark Sugarloaf's train wreck.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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Color me surprised.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:43 PM   #4
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So what you are trying to say AT&T is that a bad phone experience sold better at $0.99 than it did as a bad phone experience at $99. Yeah, I follow . . .
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:46 PM   #5
Will do good
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So what you are trying to say AT&T is that a bad phone experience sold better at $0.99 than it did as a bad phone experience at $99. Yeah, I follow . . .
They will do even better next time, if AT&T give the buyer $99 when you "buys" the phone.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:49 PM   #6
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and now they purged inventory so they can mark phone discontinued.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:49 PM   #7
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"We sold a lot more when we were essentially giving the phone away. Facebook Home is really what people want, which is why nobody chose to pay for it."
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:50 PM   #8
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Two years after the failure of the ROKR, which was Apple's first foray into the phone market, the iPhone was released. Vega is confident that Facebook may have a similar experience and told CNET that AT&T is committed to continuing to work with the company.
This is funniest part of the article. Facebook's only direct is down (In both popularity and stock price).
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:51 PM   #9
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While there are some coincidences, ROKR was 99.9% Motorola's effort, with one minor difference of iTunes replacing its music app.

In the case of HTC First, while the hardware is HTC's, software is Facebook's (one that runs on Android).
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:51 PM   #10
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Hey my iPhone 5 was only 1€ too :P
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:55 PM   #11
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"We sold a bunch more when we lowered the price gave them away for free," he told CNET

FTFY, Ralph.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:56 PM   #12
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What's the moral of the story? People will buy terrible phones if they are cheap enough?
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:57 PM   #13
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brace yourselves, another flop facebook phone is coming
if facebook really wants their phone to do well, they should introduce a high end phone.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 03:58 PM   #14
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It's not the phone, but the Facebook integration, that has left people less than excited.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:00 PM   #15
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It's not a terrible phone. I bought one off eBay for about $150 as a backup phone and device to mess with Android. Turn off Facebook Home and you have a very capable midrange phone. Display is beautiful, battery is good, and I like that the body is really low key. The only part that sucks is the camera and the fact that it'll probably never see another Android update ever again. But without Home on, it is practically a stock Android experience.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:02 PM   #16
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Even though First and Facebook's app did flop (IMO), I'm not suprised the phone sold out at this price point. At $.99, this phone is a decent, mid-tier Android phone for those in the market for such a thing. You can turn off Facebook Home and end up with a decent vanilla Android phone. I think there were lots of people in that particular market. I for one, would never buy it, but as shown by the sales numbers, plenty of people did.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/9/420...facebook-phone
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:02 PM   #17
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What's the moral of the story? People will buy terrible phones if they are cheap enough?
sure they will, just look at android sales!
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:02 PM   #18
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lol the plan for this thing seemed so half-baked and short sighted. Of course it didn't work.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:02 PM   #19
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Good mid-level phone, with pretty much stock Android on, as well as the ability to disable all of the Facebook features anyway. If AT&T had actually bothered to market it, it would have sold much better.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:03 PM   #20
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Getting stuck for 2 years to get HTC FB phone?
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:08 PM   #21
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This is nothing new. They give away the 8GB iPhone for free as well. They simply want to move unsold inventory.

As for the FB phone... turn off the FB feature and you have a decent mid range phone.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:09 PM   #22
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Why don't Americans understand that a 'free' phone is paid for by the monthly contract they signed?

In the rest of the world it's easy to get phones unbundled from contracts - and also, contracts are available with different monthly costs so you can choose the balance of paying up front vs more per month.

*sigh*
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:11 PM   #23
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Why don't Americans understand that a 'free' phone is paid for by the monthly contract they signed?

In the rest of the world it's easy to get phones unbundled from contracts - and also, contracts are available with different monthly costs so you can choose the balance of paying up front vs more per month.

*sigh*
Its not like they have much of a choice
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:12 PM   #24
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Its not like they have much of a choice
That's socialism for you.
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Old Jun 25, 2013, 04:13 PM   #25
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Probably should've gotten one of these to put alongside my HP TouchPad
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