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
139 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
139 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
139 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
139 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
139 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
139 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)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...