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The phone was rumored to have sold around 8,000 units

Microsoft's Kin smartphones made Palm's struggling Pre look like marketing genius.  Released exclusively on Verizon about 2 months back, the pair of phones marked the culmination of Microsoft's reportedly $500M USD purchase of Danger (makers of the Sidekick).

The phones lacked features found in Android, the iPhone, or other modern smartphones and were marketed with a series of controversy-laden ads.  In the end they reportedly sold around 8,000 units.

Following Microsoft's decision to pull the plug on future Kin-related endeavors, Verizon this week decided that it had seen enough.  It is ceasing sales of the phones, pulling them from store shelves, and shipping the remaining supply (which is mostly untouched) back to Microsoft.

While it's no real skin off Verizon's back considering the carrier's well-packed stable of smart phones and plethora of smart phones, the metrics of the screw-up for Microsoft are staggering.

If you assume to $500M USD Danger purchase cost and that 8,000 units were sold, that works out to a cost to Microsoft of $62,500 per phone.  At that rate Microsoft might as well have been giving away small bars of gold with a phone built in.  And that's not even including the two years of engineering that Microsoft financed to launch the phone and the extensive advertising campaign.

As Microsoft readies Windows Phone 7, its surely a bit nervous as it watches Verizon nail Kin's coffin shut.  Its room for error in the smartphone arena is close to exhausted.




"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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