Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been having some success on mobile devices of late based on the numbers of users that access the social network from mobile devices as well as the improving revenue from mobile advertising. But it seems that while people seem to like Facebook on mobile devices, they don’t seem to be embracing the concept of having Facebook available all the time. Moderation must be key.
This can’t bode well for Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) when AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) announced this week that it was sharply discounting its HTC First handset after only a month on store shelves. For those who don’t remember, HTC First is the handset that was unveiled as the first to have Facebook Home installed. FacebookHome is the Android “covering” that put Facebook notifications, friends’ posts and messages, as well as profile pictures, right on the home screen of the ph0ne. Apparently sales of the HTC handset have been so underwhelming that AT&T is lowering prices on the handset after only about a month.
Word is that the Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Home flagship handset is being reduced twice – first, the $99 price with a two-year subscription agreement is now down to 99 cents; and second, the $450 price tag without a contract will now be down to $350. The phone has not gotten very positive reviews, other than it has pretty good specs for the (former) price – 16 GB of storage, 1 GB of memory, a 4.3-inch 720p resolution display and a 5 megapixel camera. Sales numbers have not been revealed, but it may be safe to presume that these price cuts are indicating that inventory is piling up at AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) stores. Will there be more to come?
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) does have more than 1 billion users, and the most recent estimate had about 60 percent of those users access the site from a mobile device. Apparently though, at least a good number of these users want to access Facebook through the phone, not access the phone through Facebook. This is a bigger shortcoming for Facebook than the company’s last attempt at locking into mobile, when it was part of ill-fated handsets the HTC Cha Cha and Salsa. Ever heard them? No, we really hadn’t either.
What do you think? Does this surprise you, that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) would stuggle so mightily in getting a foothold in the mobile market? Will this knock off the rumors that Facebook is actually considering its own smartphone? What do you think Facebook should do next, what do you think it will do? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.