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Verizon may gut Microsoft Kin prices Friday

updated 05:30 pm EDT, Thu June 10, 2010

Verizon price drop hints Kin not selling

Verizon is about to drop the prices on the Kin One and Two in a sign that Microsoft's phones might not be selling, sources said on Thursday. Although only launched last month, the Kin Two would drop from $100 to $50 on contract; the Kin One would be even cheaper, falling from $50 to free with a two-year plan. Both cuts would take effect on Friday, but BGR notes they wouldn't change the smartphone-level plans required for either model.

The price slash hasn't been confirmed by Verizon.

Cutting the price so steeply a month after launch is uncharacteristic for most phones and would signal difficulty persuading customers to buy. The most recent instance of rapid price drops at Verizon affected Palm's Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, which sold for a fraction of their original prices weeks after Palm suffered disastrous sales in the winter.

Kin has been dogged by criticisms almost from the start due to the balance of features and price. The One and Two both currently lack support for any third-party apps but still need at least the same $70 monthly plan as more advanced phones, discouraging Microsoft's core audience of teens and their parents. Price drops on hot-selling smartphones like the Motorola Droid have exacerbated problems by leaving no true up-front price advantage.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +5

    Gloat for the goat

    Poor, poor Micorsoft, will someone please give them a break please? It would seem to me that the only company making a profit with $50 to free phones would be the carrier and not the phone maker. What I would give to be a fly on the wall in the offices of Redmond. A committee of yes men and woman thought these phones were a good idea once. That company seems oblivious to what the consumer wants. Then again they made their fortune selling to IT nerds working for large corporations. The consumers bought into Window by default.

  1. facebook_Ed

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2010

    +6

    Microsoft makes phones?

    I did not know that.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +3

    Fire sale!

    I'd be certain that they're not selling well. You wouldn't exactly reduce the price of device that's in demand. Although the Kins look like they might have some nice features, I think you'd really have to be deep into that social stuff. It's like a social phone for teenagers and I can't figure out how it translates to adults. Maybe an adult in the theater or fashion industry. Both models seem too limited compared to the current crop of smartphones.

    I like how the Kin 2 graphically timelines stuff when you hook it up to a PC. Still it seems like any smartphone could do this with a special app, so you don't need a dedicated phone for it.

  1. rombe3jr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2010

    +1

    Poor Product Placement

    The Kins are perfect for teenagers... but Microsoft forgot one very important point. Most teenagers have low monthly bills because they don't talk much and usually just text message each other. So they pay $5-$10 extra per month over the cheapest voice plans for unlimited text messaging. The Kins require a much more expensive data plan that significantly raises the barrier to entry. The handset price drop is dealing with the symptom, not the problem: high monthly fees. Many teenagers are texting up to 60 words per minute now... they can communicate quite effectively with text message. They aren't going to start coughing up Verizon's $30/month data fee just for MMS style chatting with photos. Don't get me wrong, they would love to use this, but the monthly price tag is just too steep. Good luck Mircrosoft. You better have a really great Phone 7 out soon or you'll get left behind.

  1. thebiggfrogg

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007

    +1

    What about the...

    Microsoft Kissin' Couzin?

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