AT&T Sells Out of HTC First Inventory at $0.99, Compares Experience to Apple's Motorola ROKR Experiment

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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
  2. Guest

    Apr 17, 2005
    Currently in Switzerland
    Mark Sugarloaf's train wreck.
  3. macrumors regular


    Aug 30, 2008
    Costa Rica
    Color me surprised.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2009
    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 . . .:rolleyes:
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    They will do even better next time, if AT&T give the buyer $99 when you "buys" the phone. :D
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jun 29, 2008
    and now they purged inventory so they can mark phone discontinued. :cool:
  7. macrumors 68000


    Nov 23, 2011
    "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." :rolleyes:
  8. macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    This is funniest part of the article. Facebook's only direct is down (In both popularity and stock price). :p
  9. macrumors 68030

    Mar 30, 2004
    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).
  10. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
    Planet Earth
    Hey my iPhone 5 was only 1€ too :p
  11. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    "We sold a bunch more when we lowered the price gave them away for free," he told CNET

    FTFY, Ralph.
  12. macrumors 68020


    Jun 11, 2007
    What's the moral of the story? People will buy terrible phones if they are cheap enough?
  13. macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2013
    brace yourselves, another flop facebook phone is coming :rolleyes:
    if facebook really wants their phone to do well, they should introduce a high end phone.
  14. macrumors 68030


    It's not the phone, but the Facebook integration, that has left people less than excited.
  15. macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    Albuquerque, USA
    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.
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 17, 2009
    Fort Worth, TX
    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.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Apr 24, 2010
    sure they will, just look at android sales! ;)
  18. macrumors 65816

    Oct 4, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    lol the plan for this thing seemed so half-baked and short sighted. Of course it didn't work.
  19. macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2010
    London, UK
    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.
  20. macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2012
    Getting stuck for 2 years to get HTC FB phone? :confused:
  21. macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2013
    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.
  22. macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    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.

  23. macrumors 604


    Mar 26, 2008
    Planet Earth
    Its not like they have much of a choice
  24. macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    That's socialism for you. :p
  25. macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    Probably should've gotten one of these to put alongside my HP TouchPad :D

Share This Page