by Christopher Freeburn | May 9, 2013 11:28 am
Breaking into the smartphone market isn’t easy. Even for a social media giant.
Not quite a month after its launch, AT&T (NYSE:T) has slashed the price of Facebook‘s (NASDAQ:FB) first venture into the smartphone arena. The HTC First phone was priced at $99.99 with a two year contract, when it debuted on April 12, but can now be purchased for 99 cents, Reuters notes.
The phone runs a modified version of Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system called “Home,” which Facebook touts as putting social media at the heart of smartphone use. AT&T is only U.S. wireless carrier to feature the phone.
While carriers often discount phones to boost sales, the dramatic price cut so close to its launch is seen as a bad sign for the phone, signalling that consumers were not lured by its Facebook features and accessibility.
Facebook had long been rumored to be developing its own smartphone. However, the release of the Home app and the HTC First seemed to signal that the company was moving away from developing its own fully-branded smartphone.
Shares of Facebook in dipped fractionally Thursday morning trading, while AT&T fell more than 1%.
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