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.