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: Windows Phone 7
By mcnabney on 6/30/2010 6:29:56 PM , Rating: -1
I would. Just like you don't see much interest in Zune now, you won't see much interest in the ZunePhone later. Why?

Breaks compatibility
Doesn't offer anything new

Maybe there is still room to bury phone7 with Pre/Pixi...

I swear, Microsoft couldn't innovate their way out of a paper bag these days.

RE: Windows Phone 7
By inighthawki on 6/30/2010 6:46:51 PM , Rating: 5
I'm actually looking forward to windows phone 7 phones. Yeah it's true not many people are too interested in zunes, but the reason why is not because they are bad.

I have a zune hd and i absolutely LOVE the interface. Probably the best I've ever used on a mobile device. I've seen a dozen iphones and android phones and not a single one has really caught my interest.

Win7 phones look really interesting to me though, and look FAR more creative and innovative than the iphone os, which is just a polished off version of every other mobile OS out there with the standard icon layout and glossy button ui thats available on everything these days.

The iphone os does have the massive advantage of apps, but lets face it, if you have looked into win phone 7 development at all you can see it has the potential to skyrocket. The application development is all done very consistently using some top of the line design tools in visual studio. There is even a special version of visual studio available for win phone 7 development with a full gui designer much like the windows forms designer interface available in past visual studio IDEs.

While I'm not particularly happy about the forceful push towards solely C#/XNA development, it happens to be a great set of libraries for novice developers to make something great.

Managed memory in C#/.NET makes application development on the phone quicker and reduces the bugginess of code for those that are not incredibly skilled in C/C++, and the built in libraries offer a vast amount of code already done for you. I think the win phone 7 series might end up more like xbox. It started off really slow and waited long to get into the game, but like they did with 360, they gave developers a LOT of good free tools to really kick it off, and look how it turned out. It is arguably the most popular console out to date, with the exception of the wii, though i think in terms of rate of sales its likely to catch up soon if it hasn't already.

But sadly if you think that win phone 7 is anything like the KIN attempt, then you are completely wrong. With all of my excitement for win phone 7 and my love of my zune hd, I think these things look like utter garbage, so you can only imagine how little popularity they really have.

RE: Windows Phone 7
By theplaidfad on 6/30/2010 6:58:43 PM , Rating: 1
Steve? Mr. Ballmer, is that really you?

RE: Windows Phone 7
By lagitup on 6/30/2010 7:25:10 PM , Rating: 5
No, really, every point he makes is valid and practical. Also bear in mind that xda developers is essentially an (quite large) evangelist community for anything with an HTC logo, and that HTC is supporting WinPhone 7. Heh, see what I did there? WinPhone?

RE: Windows Phone 7
By theplaidfad on 7/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Windows Phone 7
By Phoque on 6/30/2010 9:39:54 PM , Rating: 2
I would certainly consider a Windows Phone 7. I'm just wondering if Microsoft will make their own smartphone using it, and, if not, why. I see the Zune as being a good start ( maybe not in terms of sales, but in terms of engineering experience ), similar to the way Apple had it coming, before launching their own smartphone.

RE: Windows Phone 7
By xler8r on 7/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: Windows Phone 7
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2010 7:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I freaking LOVE my Zune. It's the best portable media player out there, sorry iPod. The biggest reason is, you don't have to use iTunes.

Plus Microsoft has never told me I was "holding it wrong" for it to work :)

RE: Windows Phone 7
By kmmatney on 7/1/2010 2:11:07 AM , Rating: 2
The Zunes were was destined to fail, IMO. When they first came out, I was pretty excited - I thought they would offer more features and a better price. I figured they HAD to, since they were late to the game, they needed to give people incentive to buy them. However they didn't offer any more value - they put themselves at the same prices points as iPods, and unsurprisingly did not sell well.

They were a year late (or more) coming out with a solid state player everyone (including me) has bought their Nanos by then. When they finally did come out, they priced themselves the same as Apple.

By the time the iPod touch came out, it was all over. Again, they didn't give any incentive - like a camera - to buy one. The Touch blows away the Zune HD as a total entertainment device. The only real thing it has going for it is that it is not made by Apple.

As for iTunes - it isn't any worse than the alternatives. You need to spend about a minute getting it configured right (and uninstall the crap you don't need) and it works fine. There are plenty of free alternatives you can use with the iPods as well. I use Floola for my nano, and keep it durectly on the device, so I never need to install software to transfer music. For my phone, I used iTunes once to transfer music and update the OS, but get everythijng else directly on the phone through Wifi or 3G. I do like itunes for listening to my music library in general, though. I tried using my own folders for a while, but iTunes just makes it easier once the music collection gets past 20 GBs.

RE: Windows Phone 7
By hughlle on 7/1/2010 4:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
can't comment on the HD zune vs touch, but my 80gb zune just stomps all over the arse of my ipod classic.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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