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Microsoft Pulls Plug on Kin

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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 (s msft) 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

11 Responses to “Microsoft Pulls Plug on Kin”

  1. Jeff Jackson

    Just a preview what will happen in January to Windows Phone 7 Series, or whatever they’re calling it this week. Let’s see, iPhone has spent the last 4 years copying features from Windows Mobile, so Microsoft’s response is to come up with something that’s iPhone Lite when compared to the ORIGINAL iPhone. I doubt they’ll even manage to sell hundreds.

  2. Sandra K

    The same thing will happen with Windows Phone 7 is released.

    Windows Phone 7 won’t have as many features as more mature Android phones and iPhone. But it will cost the same price.

    Consumers are going to buy iPhones and Androids (each with tens of thousands of apps) before they buy a Windows Phone 7 handset with few apps, and missing vital functionality (like copy and paste).

    Windows Phone 7 is going to be DOA, just like KIN. It will be chewed up and spat out by the market, soon after arrival.

  3. jellyfisher

    sucks. my good friend was one of responsible for release of kin europe, was told to pack his bags today. thats after month of work…

  4. No surprise to me, it was a daft idea from the off. Marketing to the young adult demographic is more than making hipster videos. Ask the young adults around you if they align themselves with MSFT?

    If the issue was just the pricing plan then why didn’t they launch in Europe where there is more carrier and price flexibility? No they realised far too late that the MSFT Kin concept deeply flawed.

    The question remains why this ever saw the light of day.

  5. Grim Reaper

    Only a company the size of Microsoft could afford to waste money like this on a failed product launch. Most smaller companies would be forced to close shop.

    The dunderheads at MS have definitely earned their 2010 Doofus Award ready to pickup on aisle 3 of the Redmond unemployment office.

    This is certainly a bad omen for WinMoFo7 (or whatever they are calling the Windows Phone this week). That reminds me, whoever the hell is involved in the naming of their projects and products (i.e. Kin, Kinect, etc) should be fired immediately since they don’t have a clue.

    1975 ~ 2010

  6. Scotty

    Rumors I’ve seen speculated they sold at most a few hundred units in the weeks since their release. That would I think scuttle a launch in Europe.

  7. They should have integrated Kin with WinPhone7 from the get-go, using it as a cheaper alternative to more expensive smartphones.

    Agree with Mark that this really doesn’t come as a surprise.


    They should have been released on a budget carrier like Boost or MetroPCS. That might have worked as the demographic for those carriers are into social networking but not tech savy enough that they would want or need a smartphone type device. With the Kin they were going cheap so they should have had the carriers to match.

  9. GoodThings2Life

    I love Microsoft as a business, but I like most of the products they make, but good grief they need to get some competent leadership in the E&D department! You know, the type that will actually RELEASE Courier and stop wasting resources on Kin.

    How Kin even got off the drawing board is beyond me.