Update: Microsoft kills the Kin
The device was launched just two months ago
IDG News Service - Just over two months after launching it, and days after reducing the price, Microsoft has decided to kill the Kin phone.
Microsoft began offering the phone in mid-April on Verizon's network. The two models of the Kin were aimed at young people, with prominent social-networking ties.
But reviewers were critical of the phones from the beginning, noting that they were often difficult to use and lacked key features.
Earlier this week, Verizon dropped the price of the low-end Kin from US$49 to $29 and the high-end version from $99 to $49. A price drop so close to launch is typically an indication that the phones aren't selling well.
Microsoft has apparently decided to pin its future mobile efforts on Windows Phone 7, the revamp to its ailing Windows Mobile operating system that is due out on phones later this year.
"We have made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and will not ship Kin in Europe this fall as planned," Microsoft said in a statement. "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."
Matt Rosoff, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, had heard just a few days ago that Microsoft was preparing a big software update to the Kin phones. However, he said he's more surprised that Microsoft launched the Kin phones in the first place than that it killed them now.
The phone had many poor reviews and probably weak sales, he said. Although it had one feature that was often praised, it lacked a number of features considered standard on smartphones today, including an app store.
A number of users who wrote reviews on the Verizon site complained that the phones didn't even come with a calendar.
However, many people, including Rosoff, praised Kin Studio. That's a feature that lets a Kin user log into their account on a computer and see a timeline of activity on the phone, including photos, videos and text messages. The feature backs up all content on the phone.
Folding the Kin team into the Windows Phone 7 team is something Microsoft should have done long ago, Rosoff said. "It's surprising that they didn't take a look at this Kin team and say, 'what they're doing is interesting but it needs to be put into the mainstream mobile platform,'" he said.
One reason that Microsoft continued down the Kin development path is that it may have had deals with Verizon or Sharp, the phone maker, that it couldn't get out of, he said.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more