Om Malik told us Kin sales were bad, but having only entered the retail channel a few weeks ago it is still surprising that Microsoft is killing the Kin line of phones. The Kin One and Two are still to be found at Verizon (for now), but Microsoft is killing the European launch scheduled for this fall. The Microsoft Kin team is disappearing too, as the company focuses exclusively on Windows Phone 7 coming later this year.
“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 Kin phones are aimed at the socially active young adult demographic, but saddling them with expensive smartphone data plans didn’t help address that market. The phones are not fully capable smartphones, but buyers are faced with paying the same for the service plan as if they were. This abrupt cancellation of the Kin project by Microsoft likely indicates just how bad sales have been.
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): To Win In the Mobile Market, Focus On Consumers