HTC’s First smartphone, a device which comes with Facebook’s Home user interface pre-installed, will not be launched in the UK, following reports that it saw a lukewarm reception in the US following its debut last month.
According to Mobile News, “Facebook has taken the decision not to give it a more widespread release” following the poor response to date. It had been scheduled for release in the UK by operator EE, which is set to inform buyers who had pre-ordered the device that these will not be fulfilled.
HTC has previously said that the device will be made available via Orange in France. It has not been confirmed if this launch has also been shelved, although it seems likely.
AT&T decided to stop selling First earlier this month, according to reports, after the device failed to appeal to potential buyers – even after a substantial price cut.
The unique selling point of the device – Facebook Home – has also received mixed reviews, leading the social networking giant to unveil a number of enhancements that are in the pipeline.
According to some reports, it is not the end of the line for the HTC hardware which underpins the device. The vendor is apparently readying a version running the stock Android platform, which will even omit HTC’s own Sense interface.
It has been noted previously that HTC First runs stock Android under Facebook Home – offering a low-cost entry point for users who want an Android smartphone which lacks vendor customisation.