Despite calling it a "laughable" proposition for the "tech set," Mat Honan at Wired says "millions of Americans" will want the Facebook phone:
Will businesses take to it? Almost certainly not. No business, other than maybe Buzzfeed, wants its employees spending more time on Facebook. Will it be a hit with early adopters and the tech set? That’s laughable. No. Will millions of Americans just want a handset that can run Facebook? That seems like a bet I’d take.
Just who are these "millions" of real people, you ask? Poor people, with poor taste, Honan suggests: "I suspect there is a strong correlation between people who want a 'free' smartphone with people who really dig Facebook," he writes. You people who value bargains over privacy and utility and style are already buying up all those mid-level Android phones because you people have no idea what's what, as SplatF's Dan Frommer explains. So "the types of people who, every couple of years, go into the Verizon or AT&T shop and walk out with whatever newish thing the store rep says they should buy" will be drawn to the HTC First and its ilk. Or, in a similar vein, Frommer says, those "who have bought Android phones — and some iPhones, probably — who don't really care that they're Android phones, or even smartphones" also fall in the Facebook sucker category.
Within these others, the "tech set" also suggests another, sicker subset: "Facebook addicts." Slate's Farhad Manjoo, who comes right out and says "I don't think Facebook Home is for me," guesses that people with an unhealthy attachment to the social network will love the new Facebook-fronted Android platform. That's like saying a nicotine addict would definitely like a pack of cigarettes. ReadWrite's Mark Hachman agrees with that proposition, by the way: "If you're obsessed with Facebook, Home is for you. But if you'd like to use your Android phone for something else — like checking email, for example — you'll probably find Home more trouble than it's worth," he writes. It's unclear how we diagnose the addicts. But if they truly have a health issue, perhaps we shouldn't prescribe a phone with the drug of choice right on its home screen.
In reality, none of this reality check from the "tech set" is very helpful to an actual person deciding if he or she wants to buy a new Facebook phone. (Beyond the HTC First, the Home software will be available for select Android phones, both top-tier and mid-level, beginning April 12.) More likely, the tech bloggers want to cover their hides on this one. They don't like it, nor do they understand it, and they certainly won't buy it. But instead of coming right out and saying you shouldn't buy this thing, they're preparing for the moment if and when the Facebook phone sells millions of units in the U.S. (Another theory, by the way, is that Facebook made this phone for its overseas markets.) In that case, they can look back and say: We knew this would happen to you people.