Facebook Phone Now Costs $1

AT&T's deep discounts don't bode well for HTC First and Facebook Home
By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2013 7:51 AM CDT
Facebook Phone Now Costs $1
Michael Goodwin, Senior Partner for HTC, displays an HTC First cell phone wit the Facebook Home interface.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Ouch. The "Facebook phone"—aka the HTC First phone running Facebook Home—is now selling for just 99 cents. AT&T was offering the phone for $99 on a two-year contract, but has now reduced the price to under a buck, Mashable reports. That's an absurd-sounding 99.72% discount on the phone's original price of $350.99. "Promotional pricing is common in the mobile industry," argues HTC, which is true, but as Mashable points out, 99% discounts are not. For its part, Facebook is keeping its head held high, even promoting the deal on its own, er, Facebook page.

In other struggling smart phone news, the once-mighty Nokia has just released its $99 Asha phone, made for Indian and other "emerging" markets, in an effort to reclaim some of its former market share, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company says the phone is targeted at "young, socially inspired" people, whatever that means, and offers limited smart phone functionality like social media apps and a touch screen. India is the second-largest phone market in the world, but Nokia has been losing ground to local competitors, says Reuters—from a 50% share three years ago to 23% today. (More Facebook stories.)

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