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.

home
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."

Top Rated Comments

applesith Avatar
109 months ago
What's the moral of the story? People will buy terrible phones if they are cheap enough?
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
109 months ago
"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:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will do good Avatar
109 months ago
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:

They will do even better next time, if AT&T give the buyer $99 when you "buys" the phone. :D
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
firestarter Avatar
109 months ago
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*
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gatearray Avatar
109 months ago
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! ;)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
the-oz-man Avatar
109 months ago
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:
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Partners With Delta to Provide Free In-Flight Music and Podcasts Service

Thursday September 2, 2021 12:59 am PDT by
Spotify has announced a new partnership with Delta that will see the streaming service take over the "audio" section of Delta's in-flight seatback entertainment, making select playlists and podcasts freely available to all passengers. You are now free to roam about the cabin—and get the music and podcasts you love at 30,000 feet. Beginning today, we're taking off in a new partnership with...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...