05-15-2013 / By:
In a SHOCKING twist of events, the Facebook-centric smartphone, the HTC First, is going to be discontinued after poor sales. Around 15,000 handsets had been sold. Facebook has approximately 19 GAZILLION members. This should go to show that not only is Facebook not ready to make the mobile move beyond existing apps, but also that maybe your target market of pre-teens don’t have the income to be able to purchase a phone.
Seriously? Raise your hand if you were surprised that this DIDN’T succeed. Take your time, I have all day. I want to meet someone who owns this phone, because I haven’t seen one in the wild, at least someone brave enough to actually purchase it and use it in public. You know why it failed? Because of Facebook itself. You can’t go anywhere without being bombarded by Likes and status updates and people being like “NEW PROFILE PICTURE” after taking a dumb photo. Those people are the worst—I can barely stand them already because of Facebook. A person who uses a Facebook-centric phone? THE WORST PERSON IN EXISTENCE. Wanna know what purchasing and using a Facebook phone says about you? It says “I’ve tapped out of actual life, but I’m definitely planning on stepping my FB game up in 2013. Statuses, updates, I’m gonna be nose deep in this phone ALL DAY”. It’s like owning a Ferrari—people see you, and they think “Wow, that’s a cool car. I wonder what that guy does...”—except the exact opposite. People see you holding a Facebook phone and they think, “I wonder what that guy does...because he hasn’t looked up from that phone in forever and he keeps mumbling something about Mark Zuckerberg. Quick, let’s get out of here, he’s coming this way.”
It also has to do with the quality of the phone. With giants like the Samsung Galaxy line, the Nexus brand of phones and the iPhone all out there as the reigning Kings of Smartphone-landia, Facebook and HTC needed to come correct with a proper, quality handset that would compete with those giants. If The Wire has taught us anything it’s, “When you come at the king, you best not miss.” Facebook didn’t even go down swinging—they took that 3rd strike looking and walked back to the dugout, head held in shame.
Let’s be realistic—Facebook isn’t going to go the way of MySpace anytime soon. There’s still a strong user base, based solely on the fact that people are posting on it non-stop to the point of being annoying. But things have waned a little bit in the past few years, especially after the loss of the “exclusivity” of Facebook. It’s such a hack thing to say now, but it felt cool when it was just "US" and not MY MOM. Like, 6 years ago, College-Aged Chris totally might’ve considered a Facebook phone (MAYBE, but probably not), but now that the luster has worn off and Facebook is everywhere, people have realized that this is getting kind of annoying.Facebook took a gamble, and the house won. Maybe they’ll come back stronger than ever, but who knows? Right now, they’re doing pretty well with their existing mobile apps, even if Facebook Home has been a bust. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, though, you can currently purchase the HTC First on AT&T for the low, low, low, low price of 99 cents.