HTC has delayed the release of its Facebook-centric First smartphone amid concerns that the handset's software is not yet ready for release.
Facebook said that the handset would see its UK release delayed as it worked on issues with the software. While no release date was given, the company said in multiple reports that it would be taking “the next few months” to fine-tune the handset.
The company announced the phone in partnership with HTC in early April. Originally rumoured to be a branded phone from Facebook, the company opted instead to let HTC handle the hardware development and turned its focus to creating a Facebook skin, which would sit on top of the Android platform.
The application will provide a number of features to integrate Facebook throughout its interface, without providing a complete hardware or operating system replacement for the handset. Early reception to the phone was tepid as reviews suggested that the company was opting to 'play it safe' with its decision.
The platform was also the target of criticism from Microsoft, which claimed that the platform was a 'rip-off' of its own Windows Phone platform. Executives in Redmond suggested that everything – from the Facebook phone interface to the way the company chose to handle its release event – was similar to the Windows Phone release last year.
Meanwhile, HTC finds itself continuing to struggle in the mobile market as quarterly results have stalled and former employees have taken to blasting the firm on Twitter.