Ina Fried

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HTC First’s Trip to Europe on Hold as Facebook Works to Improve Its Home

The plan was for the HTC First to launch at AT&T, then also quickly go on sale in France and the United Kingdom.


But that plan is now on hold.

“While Facebook works to create a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended that Orange in France and EE in the U.K. hold off on launching the HTC First at this time,” a France Telecom-Orange representative told AllThingsD.

Facebook is saying that it wants to work on retooling Home before it renews its effort to get the software preloaded on new devices. “As a result of customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding customization features to Facebook Home, and will limit support for new devices at this time,” Orange said.

At the launch of Facebook Home, the social network talked about a program to get more phone makers to preload the software. It showed a slide listing other hardware partners, including Samsung, ZTE, Lenovo, Sony, Alcatel One Touch and Huawei, in addition to launch partner HTC.

Neither AT&T nor HTC has commented directly on sales of the HTC First, though the carrier has dropped the price to 99 cents with a contract, down from the initial $99 sticker price.

Whether the HTC First will ever see the light of day in Europe remains unclear, though Orange said it still wants to work closely with the social network.

“Orange remains committed to bringing our customers the newest and best mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook to provide these new experiences in the future,” the carrier said.

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