Print 37 comment(s) - last by mcnabney.. on Jul 1 at 9:11 PM

KIN's dead baby, KIN's dead

We can't say that we didn't see this one coming. When Microsoft announced the the KIN One and KIN Two smartphones in April, we were concerned that the customers targeted by Microsoft -- those ranging from tweens to college-aged adults -- just weren't gonna fall for these socially-geared phones.

It appears that Microsoft found out too late that no one was buying their story about how well these devices would be received by consumers. Today, Microsoft confirmed that both the KIN One and KIN Two are getting the axe:

We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.

The chubby KIN One was priced at $49 while the keyboard-equipped KIN Two was priced at $99 (both after a $100 mail-in rebate). In addition, both phones had to be paired with a $29 data plan on Verizon's network.

In the face of such powerful (and much more capable) competition like the $99 Apple iPhone 3GS and the $129 HTC Aria, the two KIN phones never stood a chance.

Reviews gave the two devices a "meh" for the most part with Engadget saying, "Here are much better choices for much less money on the market, and Microsoft hasn't demonstrated to us why you would choose this phone over those" and Gizmodo adding, "This bizarre pricing will make potential KIN buyers' minds jump from messaging phones, which the KIN compares favorably to, to thoughts of smartphones, with app stores and full mapping and real browsers."

So long KIN, we hardly knew ye.

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RE: the commercials didn't help
By mcnabney on 6/30/2010 6:26:09 PM , Rating: 3
It isn't the creepy guy. They broke a cardinal rule of mobile device segmentation:

Thou shalt not sell a feature phone as a smartphone.

This is a simple phone that can do social networking and texting well, but is being thrown up against full fledged Android, iOS, and even WebOS devices. These would have been fine at $30 and $50 with a $10/mo data requirement instead of the $30/mo smartphone data plan.

Which would you want to have, a Droid or KinTwo - which cost the same in monthly service?

RE: the commercials didn't help
By Spivonious on 7/1/2010 8:26:47 AM , Rating: 2
That's not MS's fault, it's Verizon's.

RE: the commercials didn't help
By mcnabney on 7/1/2010 9:00:55 PM , Rating: 2
No, it is Microsoft's.

They designed the product with integrated cloud backup. Cloud backup of that much potential data and the bandwidth to push it is significant.

The Android approach is better. The Gmail association remembers all apps and status (and can be instantly reconstituted on a replacement device when you lose your Incredible), but you are responsible for getting your own data off.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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