What a difference a month can make. Back in early April, HTC was soaking up the praise for being Facebook's go-to phone partner for Facebook Home.
Fast forward to the present, though, and feedback from customers in the US has been so unfavourable that the bespoke Android handset now won't be coming to the UK at all for the time being.
News that the First's UK launch had been put on hold first emerged yesterday via EE, but the network has since clarified that the decision wasn't its own, or indeed HTC's, but rather Facebook's.
The social network confirmed the news in a statement to Engadget yesterday, saying it had decided to shelve the First's international rollout for now while it tweaked the Facebook Home interface based on feedback from US customers.
As a result, all existing HTC First pre-orders in the UK have been cancelled.
“Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customisation features to Facebook Home over the coming months,” the statement reads.
“While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK, and so we will shortly be contacting those who registered their interest with us to let them know of this decision.
“Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future.”
Of course, all this is exactly what HTC doesn't need right now. It surely had high hopes for the First based on the near-incessant clamour for a genuine “Facebook phone” over the past few years.
In reality, though, the First joins the HTC One with its component supply issues as a second high-profile launch gone wrong in 2013.
The one consolation is that surely we can now put the Facebook phone thing to rest once and for all. Short of Mark Zuckerberg personally carving out a handset from his own forehead this is as close to a genuine Facebook phone as we're likely going to get, and it hasn't worked.
Can we all move on now please?