updated 03:30 pm EDT, Wed May 12, 2010
MS says Kin to merge with WP7 app platform
Microsoft today defended the $70 monthly plan for the Kin by revealing that the phones would eventually get smartphone-like app support. Mobile communications senior manager Greg Sullivan said the Kin and Windows Phone 7 platforms would eventually merge to where both would run the same apps. He didn't give a timetable but asserted that the Kin was already starting above regular 'feature' phones, particularly through its inclusion of online backup and media sharing through the Kin Studio.
"We're introducing a new category that's not exactly a smartphone and certainly more than a high-end feature phone -- a social or cloud phone -- with a rich browsing experience and rich multimedia social networking, where everything I do on the phone is automatically backed up in the Kin Studio," Sullivan said.
Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney echoed the views and insisted that people would see the "value" of the social networking and backup components that justify the higher rates.
Many have pointed out that Microsoft's approach to the Kin, which stresses Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, runs against actual teen usage habits. Only a small portion of teens use Internet features on their phones where the majority are frequent texters; allowing a Talk and Text plan would in many cases save $10 or $20 per month. Many other devices on Verizon's network that require the $70 plan already have smartphone-class apps and often more features, as do the iPhone and other similarly-priced devices on competing networks.