Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

May 10, 2013

Slate: New "Facebook phone" is now selling for 99 cents

I'm not one to criticize a good bargain, but this cannot be a good sign for the popularity of the new "Facebook phone": Less than a month after it launched, the device is on sale for 99 cents with a two-year AT&T contract. In other words, the HTC First is already in the bargain bin.

HTC wouldn't share the exact sales figures for the device in its first-quarter earnings call. Regardless, as CNET's Jennifer Van Grove points out, the price cut isn't likely to do Mark Zuckerberg any favors as he tries to pitch other smartphone makers on the merits of packaging future devices with Facebook Home.

Remember, though, the "Facebook phone" was never meant to be a high-end device. Facebook's goal has always been to get as many people as possible spending as much time as possible on the social network. If that means selling phones for 99 cents, it's no skin off Menlo Park's nose. Indeed, as Mashable's Lance Ulanoff pointed out, Facebook is touting the sale price on its own news feed with the tag line, "The best Facebook mobile experience just got better."

In fact, I suspect Facebook would have been happy to see the phones go for 99 cents with a two-year contract from the moment they launched, rather than starting at $99.99. Unfortunately for HTC, not every company can lose money on every sale but make it up in volume.

Oremus is the lead blogger for Future Tense, reporting on emerging technologies, tech policy and digital culture.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page