DecryptedTech

Wednesday01 February 2023

Facebook Using the "We only use iPhones" Excuse Again as AT&T Kills off the HTC First


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If you thought it was bad that AT&T dropped the price on HTC’s Facebook centric phone to $0.99 in less than a month you haven’t heard anything yet. It is not only consumer acceptance of the Facephone that Facebook gets to look forward to. There is also a problem with the Facebook Home App despite Facebook’s claims that it has been downloaded one Million times. I seems that Facebook cannot catch a break when it comes to mobile.

According to rumors running around the internet AT&T is going to continue their clearance sale on the HTC First in order to clear a few more units out of stock and then will be kicking them out the door for good. This does not bode well for either Facebook or HTC as this move represented a big deal for both companies. HTC needed a win with this one to get their name back in the top list even though the HTC One is a solid phone they are not able to keep pace. Their coffers have been depleted by the continued battle with Apple and missed opportunities with products. A win here would have not only been good for them financially, but also would help them explore options for operating systems other than Android (even though Facebook Home is an Android App).

Facebook, on the other hand has an even bigger stake here as they know they need mobile to win. Their user base is moving steadily toward mobile devices and mobile apps. They have worked very hard to embed themselves into iOS and with some success it seems as each new version of the OS appears to get more Facebook integration. On the downside they have not been able to do as well on the Android side of the market. Facebook has traditionally claimed this is due to their developers’ choice of personal phones (they like to keep saying they all use iPhones). However the excuse is getting a little old as they are still trying to use it now. Facebook is claiming that their new Facebook Home app accidentally removed features that Android users have come to expect in their phones because of their iPhone centric staff. To put it bluntly; if this is the reason then they should fire them all and Mark Zuckerberg should quit.

To claim that they did not know that features like the notification bar, widgets etc. were what Android users wanted to keep makes them look exceptionally incompetent.  Any company looking to develop an application should do a little research first to see what people are looking for. They cannot take a one sided view of the word and push it out (even Facebook can’t). We imagine that Facebook knew exactly what they were doing when they removed these features, they just thought that it would not matter when there was so much Facebook information floating around on the phone. It is also possible that Facebook Home is a left over from their attempts to develop their own OS which would have run on an Android backend.

Facebook cannot keep trying to dive into the mobile world and failing like this. They also cannot keep using the “we use iPhones” excuse when things do go south. Mark Zukerberg is too used to being able to control the platform his service runs on to work well in the mobile world. He is finding out very quickly that mobile users are pickier about how their phones work and that Android users are worse than most (they like the not being tied into anything). Considering that Android represents the majority of mobile users, Facebook needs to figure this out fast and maybe buy their developers some new phones.

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Last modified on Monday, 13 May 2013 22:09

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