Facebook phone axed after US 'flop'

Disappointing US sales and negative user feedback mean the HTC First may never get a release in the UK.

The first dedicated 'Facebook phone' may never be given a UK release date, after weaker than expected sales in the US and negative reviews from customers.

Running the social network's Facebook Home software, the HTC First is a smartphone designed to put Facebook sharing and messaging at the heart of the user's experience.

Sales of the handset have been sluggish since its US release in April and comments from users about Facebook Home have been less than flattering.

EE, the mobile provider that was due to stock the HTC First, said "following customer feedback" the UK release would be put on hold.

Facebook also commented on the negative reaction to Home, which, as well as coming pre-installed on the HTC First, is available as a free download for other Android smartphones.

In a statement, the company said: "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 customisation features that address the feedback we received. We think it makes a lot of sense for EE to hold off deploying the HTC First."

Neither Facebook nor EE have confirmed the HTC First will eventually get a UK release, but the indefinite postponement is not a good sign.

EE said: "Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences and we'll continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future."

Meanwhile, it has emerged that the HTC One, the Taiwanese manufacturer's flagship smartphone, sold five million units worldwide in its first month.

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