(Updated to reflect comment from Facebook)
Customer reviews of Facebook Home have been pretty abysmal, to say the least. With a 2.3 star average, and 9,349 one star reviews out of a total of 18,004, is anyone shocked that the HTC First, which came with Home preloaded, is bombing?
The first sign that sales of the HTC First were not up to snuff came when AT&T, which was originally selling the phone for $99.99 decided to dropped the price all the way down to 99 cents.
And now the planned launch of the phone in the U.K, on carriers EE and Orange, has been scrapped due to Home's poor reception, it was reported by Engadget Thursday.
"Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customization 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," EE said in a statement to VatorNews.
"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."
"We've listened to feedback from users on their experience using Home. While many people love it, we've heard a lot of great feedback about how to make Home substantially better. As a result we're focusing the next few months on adding customization features that address the feedback we received. While we focus on making Home better, we are going to limit supporting new devices and think it makes a lot of sense for EE and Orange to hold off deploying the HTC First in Europe," a Facebook spokesperson told VatorNews.
Besides people simply not liking Home all that much, there may be one other reason that the phone is stalling: Home was originally supposed to be available exclusively on the HTC First, but Facebook quickly decided to go ahead and make it available on the Google Play store in its first week, according to a report from The Verge.
Once users did not need to buy a whole new phone to get the new user interface, then the HTC First became, for lack of a better term, pointless.
But, if you really think about, it though, the HTC First was always destined for failure.
I've argued before that it was unfair to immediately call Facebook Home a dud because people need to warm up to the idea and give it some thought before they decide to use it.
Home is a user interface that is meant to change the way people use their phones: by changing them to be centered around people, instead of apps. It completely changes the look and layout of both the home screen, and the lock screen, of a user's phone.
Other apps, like Instagram for example, might be downloaded and then never opened again. Users won't notice if Instagram is there or now, and so there is no second thought to downloading it.
Many fewer people are going to jump at the opportunity to put something on their phone that they cannot so easily ignore. And that means that people will be giving it more thought before they decide to put Home onto their phones.
And, if people have to consider if they want something that intrusive on their existing phone, even fewer would go out and buy an entirely new phone just to have that feature. And that became especially true once it was no longer exclusive. There was, and is, simply no good reason to buy the HTC First.
Home was originally only available on a limited number of phones: the Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Note II, HTC One X and the HTC One X+. Earlier this month, Facebook added capabilities to the HTC One, as well as unofficial support for the Samsung Galaxy S4.
(Image source: http://pocketnow.com)