Facebook Axes Plans To Bring The HTC First To The U.K. [Update: Confirmed]


UPDATE: EE has confirmed to Cult of Android that Facebook has indeed killed plans to bring the HTC First to the U.K. The statement is at the bottom of this post.

Plans to bring the HTC First to the United Kingdom have reportedly been axed following the handset’s dismal launch in the United States. Sources claim that it was Facebook that killed the plans, rather then HTC or any of the European carrier partners.

Mobile News first reported the news this morning, and Engadget has since confirmed it with its own sources. The decision is yet to be made official be either Facebook or HTC, however.

Those who have already pre-ordered the HTC First in the U.K. will reportedly receive a notification soon to say that their order has been canceled.

“The HTC First has been pulled and will never go on sale in the U.K.,” said the source for Mobile News. “Sales in the U.S. were poor and Facebook has taken the decision not to give it a more widespread release.”

It’s unclear exactly how many First handsets have been sold since the device launched on AT&T back in April, however, recent reports suggest that it has been very disappointing.

AT&T has already reduced the price of the device from $99 to just 99¢, and one rumor claims that the carrier will soon discontinue the device and sent all unsold handsets back to HTC.

It’s thought that part of the reason why the First has failed so badly is Facebook’s decision to bring its Home launcher to other Android devices so soon. Sources have claimed that it was supposed to be a First exclusive for some time, giving the device an opportunity to sell before the launcher was made available to everyone.

As it turned out, Home hit Google Play just days after the First went on sale.

UPDATE: EE has confirmed to us that the HTC First won’t be coming to the U.K. A spokesman said:

“Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customisation features to Facebook Home over the coming months. While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK, and so we will shortly be contacting those who registered their interest with us to let them know of this decision.

Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future.”