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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.




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RE: ....
By robinthakur on 7/20/2010 6:46:33 AM , Rating: 2
Oh come on, be fair, this is a complete disaster and how you can compare it to Ferrari's businesss model is hilarious. I bet Microsoft is especially overjoyed that those 8000 people are happy with their device...! See how much those 8000 people love it when all updates stop and Verizon don't want to know about supporting it, when they check out other phones and realise that they've been comprehensively ripped off.

The phone clearly had issues which made it unappealing to customers, mostly to do with the contract pricing, weird and offputting adverts, but also to do with strange quirks in the software and unfinished features when it shipped. The little one is quite cool looking, with phenomenal battery life, and an interesting (sometimes broken) approach to Social Networking integration, but considering the features in the segment they were introduced in and for the price this was an utter train wreck that many saw coming long before it hit the shelves. Everyone apart from possibly Microsoft apparently, which should make those waiting for WP7 slightly nervous as a lot of the people working on Kin are now working there. Its clear why MS is myopically following Apple's path of development and attempting to ape their marketing with their new OS because they clearly have no clue how to market their own products, which is sad when you look at a success story like W7.


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