In a move that's sure to surprise to many, AT&T is focusing its promotional efforts on the Facebook-powered HTC First. The phone will receive top-billing in its store, including a coveted spot toward the front. The so-called "Facebook Phone" launches on Friday.
It's no matter that the Dallas-based carrier has the HTC One and Galaxy S4. The First will be available only at AT&T, and could prove whether or not the company has any real clout among consumers, says CNET's Roger Cheng. That's because today most vendors opt to skip the exclusivity deals, choosing instead to seek the widest distribution possible.
It's every man for himself, says Cheng, and with competition growing more stiff by the day—the First has formidable rivals in the HTC One and Galaxy 4S—and the evidence already out there that exclusivity deals aren't a failsafe—just as Nokia, whose Lumia 920 is only sold at AT&T and didn't sell so well over the holidays—it's clear that visibility is what makes or breaks a smartphone's success.