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Facebook Cancels UK Launch of HTC First

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the second-guessing-the-first dept.

Facebook 54

redletterdave writes "After AT&T unceremoniously canceled the HTC First after just one month on the market, Facebook announced the first phone running the Facebook Home operating system will not be launching in the U.K., as originally planned. From Facebook: '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. 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.'"

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54 comments

HTC first post? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815449)

Awesome!

Re:HTC first post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815835)

HTC First Cancer—Cancel!

Hm.. (2, Interesting)

grub (11606) | about a year ago | (#43815491)

"While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience"

$ ping facebook.com
PING facebook.com (173.252.110.27): 56 data bytes
64 bytes from 173.252.110.27: icmp_seq=0 ttl=87 time=59.217 ms
64 bytes from 173.252.110.27: icmp_seq=1 ttl=87 time=58.550 ms
64 bytes from 173.252.110.27: icmp_seq=2 ttl=87 time=58.887 ms
--- facebook.com ping statistics ---

Try harder.

Re:Hm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815863)

Try harder!

$ dig AAAA www.facebook.com

; > DiG 9.3.6-P1-RedHat-9.3.6-16.P1.el5 > AAAA www.facebook.com ;; global options: printcmd ;; Got answer: ;; ->>HEADER- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 62060 ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0 ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;www.facebook.com. IN AAAA ;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.facebook.com. 1031 IN CNAME star.c10r.facebook.com.
star.c10r.facebook.com. 41 IN AAAA 2a03:2880:2030:2f01:face:b00c:0:8

Re:Hm.. (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#43816531)

You're really in that much of a hurry to tell everyone what you had for lunch?

It's not like you're doing high frequency trading.

Re:Hm.. (1)

KiwiSurfer (309836) | about a year ago | (#43819927)

That was my thought also. I'm in New Zealand where I'm around 150-200ms away from most of the major US-based sites and I'm not complanining. First world problems I suppose.

zuck would have gone mobile only? (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43815493)

if he had the chance?
he had the chance. we had mobiles back then - and facebook would have been just another blip on the mobile scene, another path nobody gives a fuck about. another booth at 3gsm.

yes, it's a thing from the article.. and htc is fucked. they always kind of were though. there's no real reason to care about the htc first either, since you can have it on any android - and every smartphone on the market has some sort of facebook integration(which they wouldn't have if he had gone mobiles only).

Who's on HTC First? (4, Funny)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43815637)

Who's on HTC First? No, no, no, that's a bad joke. Leave the "who's on first?" to Abbott and Costello!

It doesn't take a prophet to see what happens when there's no interest and no profit!

Profits First, HTC 2nd? No, wait...

Sales first, profits 2nd, HTC 3rd? No... wait!

1. Mediocre Concept first
2. Poor Execution second
3. HTC "First" really last! Puts M$ Zune to shame in lastness!
4. ???
5. No Profit!!! Do not pass go! Do not collect 200 Dollar$ !!!

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815733)

That is terrible.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43819493)

Yet you still laughed.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815869)

WTF? Did you run that comment through a word randomizer before hitting submit?

Re:Who's on HTC First? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43816059)

There seem to be more and more comments like this on various discussion boards lately, just completely random incoherent disconnected words. It doesn't disturb, merely intrigues until I find out who or what is behind it.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43816153)

Re: There seem to be more and more comments like this on various discussion boards lately, just completely random incoherent disconnected words. It doesn't disturb, merely intrigues until I find out who or what is behind it.

Dude, lurk on ./. more and understand memes like "1 x, 2 y, 3 z, 4 ???, 5 profit!!! " !!! You'll have more fun in life, and you may get the jokes that keep whooshing over your head!

And srsly, who the fuck hasn't heard of Abbott & Costello's "Who's on first?" routine? Get a life. They sell some on aisle 4, if you don't have a clue.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (2)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#43816527)

I went to buy a clue, but it was actually glue, and now I'm stuck with it.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43816575)

Yep, you got the Abbot and Costello reference.

The reference for the Profit! meme though is South Park. That's where Slashdotters got it from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tO5sxLapAts [youtube.com]

Re:Who's on HTC First? (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43817607)

Well, whaddyaknow? Sorry, BasilBrush. Not really a South Park fan, so I did not even know that! My grandfather's an Abbot + Costello fan, which is where I picked that up.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816283)

Well, GGP's first line is fine, but that's about it.

In the second line, when resolving the rhetoric, the claim amounts to "it doesn't take a prophet to see that when there is no (interest and) profit, then there is no profit". Either a rather dull word play on "prohet" and "profit", or the wittiness of my neighbors 9 year old boy*.
The next two lines might be considered funny as situational joke said in a fittingly jocular voice, but apart from that, I don't see much amusement in listing the possible priorities of HTC (apparently including the brand HTC) in alternating order.
What follows is a trainwreck of a well known Slashdot meme without replicating the originals mechanics correctly, a word play on "first" and "last" that could have come straight from aforementioned neighbors child; and mixed with a Monopoly reference that looks as out of place as a chicken in a church.

So basically, I just assumed that after the first line, some kind of randomizer kicked in. Just didn't want to go on so explicitly about it, but hey, I've evidently got nothing else to do!

*Said boy is a healthy and normal kid, not in any way less witty than his average healthy and normal kid friends.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816383)

*prophet
Yeah, even a rhetorics nazi commits typos. If you find any others, you're allowed to keep them.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (1)

Quasimodem (719423) | about a year ago | (#43816607)

... hey, I've evidently got nothing else to do!

That was my diagnosis after reading your first post. And confirmed by a second post.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816697)

I'm sexy and you know it?

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815987)

Cocaine made Robin Williams funny.

You are not Robin Williams.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816349)

Are you implying Robin Williams didn't have cocaine?

Re:Who's on HTC First? (2)

Quasimodem (719423) | about a year ago | (#43816645)

Hey, I thought Robin Williams was funny even when I was too broke to buy cocaine.

Re:Who's on HTC First? (1)

Jerry Atrick (2461566) | about a year ago | (#43820967)

Very definitely a fail, but it still sold 3x more units (15k v 5k) than Microsofts Kin... both reduced to 99c ;)

Hardware vs Software (4, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year ago | (#43815673)

It looks like decent hardware. I hate to see the losses to HTC because Facebook's platform isn't ready. How about this: sell the hardware with stock Android. Make it a nexus phone.

Re:Hardware vs Software (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43815719)

More importantly, what does the Facebook platform bring to the table beyond their existing app?

My perception of this was to basically ensure Facebook gets even more of your personal information, since the TOS likely grants them a perpetual license to your data.

Somehow, HTC decided to play along. Now they're the ones making a phone nobody seems interested in buying. This is kinda like Nokia pinning their company future on Windows phones -- if nobody bought them, it was Nokia left holding the bag.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about a year ago | (#43815791)

Were HTC *that* committed? I thought it was only one of their lines and that they also have both Androids and WinPhones. Of course Nokia also have multiple platforms, it was announcing their intent to vacate the others that got them into the current mess.

Re:Hardware vs Software (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43815915)

Were HTC *that* committed?

I have no idea how committed they were to this particular model, I didn't get the memo, but they sure as hell better commit to something which is going to work [guardian.co.uk] for them:

With HTC's monthly revenues for the first four months of 2013 at under two-thirds of that for the same period in 2012, and first-quarter operating profits down by 99%, the company is struggling to cope with the growing power of South Korean rival Samsung

Making a product which everyone has decided they don't want isn't how you succeed in the long run. That's the sign of a company in its death throws.

If people are leaving like rats on a sinking ship, you only get so many more chances to do something which works. I can only assume this is likely to turn into a costly mistake.

1+1=yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816245)

Hmm...

* Windows 8
* Windows Phone
* XBOX One

Making a product which everyone has decided they don't want isn't how you succeed in the long run. That's the sign of a company in its death throws.

Yay!

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

trawg (308495) | about a year ago | (#43817681)

Making a product which everyone has decided they don't want isn't how you succeed in the long run. That's the sign of a company in its death throws.

Making new products and trying new things is the only way you can find out if they're going to succeed or fail though.

To me this whole campaign doesn't seem like a flailing around, clutching at straws affair (...like almost everything Blackberry does). I can't imagine HTC or Facebook are in that much strife - it looks more like a toe in the water to gauge reaction. So far from what (little) I've seen reaction hasn't been great, so winding it back gracefully and trying something else is probably their next step.

I like seeing companies try new things, even when they fail or go nowhere. That is innovation. Some of the ideas will be terrible, some merely bad - learning from those and shaping products lines will help them develop something good.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#43820325)

...in its death throws.

I suspect you meant death throes [wiktionary.org] . The term "death throws" is confusing, and possibly a little bit disturbing.

Re:Hardware vs Software (2)

gubon13 (2695335) | about a year ago | (#43816053)

This is kinda like Nokia pinning their company future on Windows phones -- if nobody bought them, it was Nokia left holding the bag.

I would disagree because it's not like Nokia had many other options. They were quickly being phased out of the market, suffering massive losses, when they decided to gamble on Microsoft's phone platform. The amount of time it would have taken them to develop a new operating system and/or next-gen Symbian would have guaranteed their continuing loss of market share for at least a couple more years.

Nokia had to gamble on either Microsoft or Google. Microsoft is the one that came to the table with a ton of cash to boost joint development of the new endeavor. At the end of the day, Microsoft had/has just as much - if not more - to lose than Nokia.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about a year ago | (#43815775)

It looks like decent hardware. I hate to see the losses to HTC because Facebook's platform isn't ready. How about this: sell the hardware with stock Android. Make it a nexus phone.

Is the case is branded with the Facebook logo? that would seem a good way to cut losses,

Put them on kickstarter, call them a new way of thinking about pocket sized touchscreens, and sell them blank. Mention that it could run android as well and has cellular connectivity, bet it raises a few million.

Re:Hardware vs Software (1)

Qwavel (733416) | about a year ago | (#43816067)

But they are selling it with stock Android!

From the reviews I read it sounds like it is easy to uninstall the Facebook from the First and make it a stock Android phone. (Though nothing I read addressed the issue of what would happen to your stock Android each time you update the firmware.)

I think we should cut Facebook some slack. Apparently Facebook Home is not as horrible as everyone expected, and more importantly, the built it on top of a perfectly stock Android and made that stock experience easily accessible to users' who tired of the Facebook Home experience. Plus, they picked HTC to design and build the phone for them.

Really, they did a lot right and I don't really think they deserved the massive failure that resulted.

Re:Hardware vs Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43818295)

Even if you implement a bad idea well, it's still a bad idea.

Re:Hardware vs Software (2)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43818359)

it sounds like it is easy to uninstall the Facebook from the First and make it a stock Android phone

Why would one buy a FB phone just to start hacking it? If you want a stock Android phone, there is no shortage of those; perhaps even a stock phone can be had at a better price because stock phones cannot claim some unique feature in them. The HTC First is special, and it can command a premium price. This is orthogonal to how many people want it.

sorry guys (0)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about a year ago | (#43815711)

I know all three of you were really excited, but now you'll just have to go back to your Microsoft phones..

Re:sorry guys (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#43816087)

You are $o $mart!

Re:sorry guys (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#43816597)

That doesn't make sense given that Facebook Home is a purely Android thing.

Offer who new opportunities? (1)

black6host (469985) | about a year ago | (#43815743)

".....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"

Really now, offering us new opportunities, or Mark and HTC? I'd vote for the latter......

uh, Facebook, you've been unliked. (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#43815747)

don't cry, just give it up and concentrate on your other friends.

What does Zuckerberg call users of Facebook phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815755)

Does he think of them as "dumb f*cks" the same way he thinks Facebook users are?

Summary gibberish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43815857)

So, it's already been cancelled, and now it's not launching? How does that make sense?

Cooked... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43815925)

Stories like this, about things the DON'T Matter, should be ignored. Seriously, letâ(TM)s just agree that Facebook is cooked and done, and move onâ¦

But of course, /. no longer uses the "Stuff That Matters" moniker... Much of the time itâ(TM)s not even all that âoegeekyâ.

Must be fucking joking (1)

KublaCant (2847303) | about a year ago | (#43815931)

A Facebook operating system. KublaCant'd rather run his balls on Windows 95 than to use...such...an...abomination....

Re:Must be fucking joking (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43815993)

A Facebook operating system. KublaCant'd rather run his balls on Windows 95

Wow, you should be careful, that could lead to the Blue Balls of Death and could seriously impair your uptime. ;-)

Lost in translation (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43815939)

Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, ...

Not necessarily the best mobile experiences, but certainly the latest.

obligatory and appropriate (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43816095)

nothing of value was lost.

Facebook is Dying (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816121)

It is now official. Netcraft has confirmed: Facebook is dying
One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Facebook community when IDC confirmed that Facebook market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Facebook has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Facebook is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.
You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict Facebook's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Facebook faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Facebook because Facebook is dying. Things are looking very bad for Facebook. As many of us are already aware, Facebook continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.
Instagram is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Instagram developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Instagram is dying.
Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.
Twitter leader Biz Markie states that there are 7000 users of Twitter. How many users of Facebook are there? Let's see. The number of Twitter versus Facebook posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Facebook users. SOCIAL MEDIA posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Facebook posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of SOCIAL MEDIA. A recent article put Instagram at about 80 percent of the Facebook market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 Instagram users. This is consistent with the number of Instagram Usenet posts.
Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, Instagram went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.
All major surveys show that Facebook has steadily declined in market share. Facebook is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Facebook is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. Facebook continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Facebook is dead.

kimdotcom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816137)

kimdotcom
rinse repeat

LMAO (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#43816811)

Actually, UK canceled WANTING HTC First.

Facebook's issue not HTC (3, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about a year ago | (#43817039)

Unless this was some special partnership, then Facebook will have a contract with a clearly stated MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity).

If they cannot make that commitment to purchase from HTC the amount stated then HTC will charge them to get out of the contract. This will be broken down into costs for the handsets already produced and unsold, materials already bought and some additional fee for lost revenue on the rest.

In short, HTC will be okay (they'll even make a bit of profit, although not as much as if the phone had been a success) however it will be Facebook who will be left with one expensive bill.

(been there and, sadly, done that)

Re:Facebook's issue not HTC (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43839563)

HTC's been going through a rough time lately. While they're not left holding the bill for unsold devices, they may have made strategic decisions about their next year's handset releases that assumed they'd have the HTC One on sale and doing well (such as cancelling low/mid-range handsets in their own portfolio).

Oops ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43818835)

Zucky Monster made a F on the final exam ! Teach knows best.

Ah ha so THAT was the last straw.

Now Facebook has to Re-Live and Re-Invent the fabled F grade for as long as Facebook is a registered company.

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