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Microsoft axes Kin after just six weeks [U]

updated 05:20 pm EDT, Wed June 30, 2010

Microsoft Kin already a failure

(Updated with leaked estimates) Microsoft today surprised the phone industry by ending the Kin phone line just six weeks after it launched in mid-May. The company promised it would still sell the Kin One and Two through Verizon for now but has scrapped all of its international plans. It didn't say how long it expected to keep sales but made clear the shift was solely to its true smartphone lineup.

"We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship Kin in Europe this fall as planned," a Microsoft statement read. "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."

The end to Kin was first confirmed after Verizon had included Kin in a sale on old phones, but concerns about its health began not long after its launch; a never-confirmed rumor had suggested that Verizon may have sold just 500 Kin phones US-wide. Retail staff have commented that even Palm's historically struggling Pre Plus and Pixi Plus have fared noticeably better.

Most of the blame for the death of the Kin series is attributed to its plan pricing. Although far from a smartphone as it lacked third-party apps and even some common built-in features like a calendar, Microsoft and Verizon agreed to require the same $70 plan as a full smartphone. The decision essentially conceded sales to most smartphones Verizon sells, especially cheap but modern smartphones like Palm's line and even Android phones like the LG Ally.

Unofficially, suspicions have been raised that the project was in trouble before launch as the company squandered its acquisition of the Sidekick's creator, Danger, and may have let the team grow isolated from the Windows Phone 7 and Zune teams, preventing it from sharing any resources with other mobile groups.

Update: a leak has put Kin sales at less than 10,000 devices so far. The Kin group's lead, former MacBU leader Roz Ho, will move to a different position in the company once the group is closed down.

By Electronista Staff


  1. afriedma

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2003


    Who should we contact?

    Who should we contact if we want to notify the next-of-kin? ; )

  1. c4rlob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009



    Just when you thought Microsoft couldn't look any more doppy.

  1. bjojade

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    Six weeks?

    Wow, talk about losing money on a product!!

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    LOL. Maybe only this guy bought one:


  1. redcapzero

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007


    comment title


  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    Roz Ho... Job Done!

    Yes, Microsoft's queen of destruction, Roz Ho is moved to undermine and destroy another unwanted Microsoft project. Haven't people in Redmond recognized that the presence of Roz is indicative of an absence of love from the grown ups at Microsoft. The best way to kill a work-group at M$ is to place it in the deathly hands of the Ho! Why do you think she was in charge of the MacBU for years? Who would of thought that there was utility in incompetence? M$ have found the way. If you see Roz walking down the corridor towards your work-group, run like hello!!!!!

  1. jdonahoe

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006


    How much did Microsoft lose on this?

    I really want to know how much they put in to the advertising, because EVERY movie I've gone to in the last two months had a stupid movie trailer-like commercial for the Kin.

    But really, I'd like to know the total cost of everything they did(adverts, design, demos, etc) to bring this failed tweener to market.

  1. Alfiejr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2008


    Stick A Fork In It

    "Most of the blame for the death of the Kin series is attributed to its plan pricing."

    what BS, Electronista. it was simply an embarrassing piece of c*** that no one wants.

    yup, great going Roz & Ballmer. MS buys Danger, then first kills its former products/business by wiping its customers' data, and now trashes it totally with the Kin.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Jul 2004


    I would guess that was 10,000 shipped to Verizon

    I would also guess that the number actually sold to customers was way below 10,000 since they canned the project.

  1. Herod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    today is a good day

    to DIE!!!!

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