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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Death Of Kin
By btc909 on 6/30/2010 6:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
"So how much is the data plan?" $29.99 "emmmm no thanks what else do you have that is in the $10 range?"

Microsoft wasn't bright enough to figure out teenagers weren't going to fork over $30 just for the data plan alone? I'm sure Microsoft was getting a kickback of that $30 but still, if you can't sell enough phones that kickback isn't going to make a difference if you have to end up pulling the phones from the market.

I agree the creepy dude with the pissy ex-girlfriend was a bad way to advertise.

RE: Death Of Kin
By Luticus on 7/1/2010 9:19:41 AM , Rating: 2
i don't think Microsoft had much to do with the price of the data plan there buddy... i think that's probably more Verizon's fault than anyone else. $30 is just their standard data plan rate. It's the same think i pay for my Omnia phone.

I do agree that they phones weren't in their niche markets pricing and therefore were doomed from the start. Honestly I don't understand why they didn't ax this idea a long time ago and just focus on win phone 7... had they done that they might be releasing it with copy/paste and multitasking... who knows. I had high hopes for windows phone 7 but with some critical features (that winMo 6.x has) missing i might be looking at alternatives when the time come to get a new phone. not touching android or iphoneOS... that's for sure.

RE: Death Of Kin
By mcnabney on 7/1/2010 9:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
Feature phones, like the Rogue, pay the $10 data rate.

Smartphones, like the Pre, Storm, or Droid, pay the $30 data plan because they use a whole lot more data.

The automatic online backup is a bandwidth hog. I have shot a ton of video on my Droid, probably 10GB worth. Imagine having to keep that backed-up across a 3G network. Now if it was an amazing feature that everyone wanted I could imagine the higher cost being worth it, but I imagine that 99.999% of wireless consumers would say 'no' to paying an extra $20/mo for automatic data backup and access.

RE: Death Of Kin
By nafhan on 7/1/2010 10:15:22 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, Verizon's data plans make it pretty stupid to buy a feature phone. You're pretty much paying the same whether you get a feature phone or a real smartphone. With some Android phones being free after rebate, the only reason to get a feature phone would be if you find smart phones "to complicated."

RE: Death Of Kin
By johnsonx on 7/1/2010 12:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
no, verizon does have a data plan for "feature phones". It's only $5 a month, or maybe $10, I don't recall (and am not going to go look it up for you). Verizon decides which data plan a phone will use. Full smartphones of course use the full data plan.

It seems Microsoft should have negotiated with Verizon to get the Kin phones on the cheaper feature phone data plan, or launched with someone else who would.

That shouldn't be interpereted to say that I give a crap that the Kin is gone, as I don't. I saw no reason for the device to exist in the first place.

RE: Death Of Kin
By nafhan on 7/1/2010 3:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
Got curious. You were right, it's $10 for the feature phone data plan, which is limited to 250MB of data usage. Feature phones can also use the same $29.99 "unlimited" plan that smartphones are required to get.
Cheapest plan I could put together with a "feature" phone (Chocolate Touch for $80) was $49.98 per month after the first month. With the Droid ($150), I was able to put together a $69.98 plan. Both plans had to pay per text message, 450 min talk time, and required a $35 activation fee.

RE: Death Of Kin
By nafhan on 7/1/2010 3:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
I also noticed that when I tried to close the checkout page, I got a popup with a $30 off promo code.

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