With a Stateside price drop coming just weeks after launch, the HTC First already had the air of a doomed project.
But now it’s been confirmed that the Facebook Home-packing blower won’t ever see the light of day here in the UK, it officially has the look and feel of a total disaster for the social network’s mobile aspirations, not to mention HTC’s bottom line.
Facebook Home has been widely pilloried, its Android takeover smarts seen as too in depth, cutting users off from other parts of their phones that they love.
Put simply, people want more than just Facebook on their phone.
The sluggish sales of 2011’s HTC ChaCha should have been a signpost to that.
Instead, Facebook, along with HTC, dived headfirst into its Home project, with the results now plain for all to see.
For Zuckerberg and co, the cancellation of the HTC First here in Blighty is an embarrassment, but little more than that.
Despite its share price struggling and users apparently deserting en masse, Facebook remains strong and has plenty of other projects from which it can make billions.
However, it’s unlikely to ever be taken seriously in the mobile space again.
Facebook Home and the HTC First will always be brought up whenever it looks to make strides in this lucrative area.
More worryingly, it seems the HTC First’s failure could lead to the complete collapse of the mobile-maker as we know it.
The handset was launched on the proviso that it would have Facebook Home exclusively, for a few weeks at least.
Instead, Facebook shoved its Android skin on the Google Play store the same week as the First launched, killing its already limited chances immediately.
Now HTC’s senior staff are said to be leaving in droves, the First’s launch being seen as a sign that it’s game over for the company that once ruled the Android roost.
The announcement that the phone isn’t coming to the UK, made by EE, suggested that Facebook made the call.
Either way, HTC has clearly boobed, its relationship with the social network damaged by this latest disaster.
Reports suggest that Peter Chou could step down as HTC CEO in the next few days, with the company ripe to be acquired by rivals.
The HTC One isn’t doing the numbers, despite critical success, and the First’s still birth shows a chronic lack of judgment on its part.
This incident will be looked back as the time when it became clear that Facebook still doesn’t have a proper mobile strategy.
But more importantly, it’ll be seen as the final nail in HTC’s coffin. No matter what either company says, there’s simply no appetite for a Facebook phone. And now HTC is about to pay the ultimate price.