Ina Fried

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Facebook’s Phone Also Coming to France Telecom-Orange, but First to AT&T

AT&T will be first with the HTC Facebook phone, but plenty of other carriers are lining up to be second.

Among those also carrying the HTC First will be France Telecom-Orange, which plans to sell it in France and in the United Kingdom, through its EE joint venture.

The HTC device is the first in a series of phones that will come preloaded with the Facebook Home software introduced by the social network on Thursday.

“We have been working for months and months with Facebook,” France Telecom-Orange’s Yves Maitre said in an interview. AT&T will start selling the HTC First for $99.99 on April 12; Orange said that its launch will come this summer, with pricing and an exact date to be announced later.

Facebook home partners

Orange and AT&T are among the carriers and hardware makers that are part of a program Facebook has to get the software onto new device.

Other partners listed on Thursday include Chinese phone makers Alcatel One Touch, Huawei, ZTE and Lenovo, as well as giants Sony and Samsung.

And whereas Orange executives are known for talking about how challenging some of their other hardware partners can be, Maitre said Facebook has been very open to input from carriers.

“It has been a great collaboration,” he said. “It has been a lot of fun to work with them and that is not always the case.”


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald