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Verizon returns unsold Kin phones, pulls online sales

updated 12:15 pm EDT, Sun July 18, 2010

Verizon decides against selling out Kin stock

A pair of insiders disclosed today that Verizon is returning all the unsold stock of the Microsoft Kin line as of Monday. The carrier has decided against selling remaining stock and will simply give the phones back to Microsoft. It has also pulled online sales of both the Kin One and Kin Two entirely and now just sells the accessories.

The exit marks the formal end to the Kin, which is already considered one of Microsoft's greatest failures to date. Microsoft dropped the entire series after just over six weeks, despite investing years into the project. It's also rumored, though unconfirmed, that Microsoft had invested as much as $250 million into the marketing campaign but only managed to sell about 8,810 units during the Kin's lifetime. In contrast, Apple sold three million iPhones in three weeks and, based on the average, would have sold as many phones as Microsoft in two hours.

Most of the blame for the Kin's short life has been on Verizon's decision to charge a full, $70 or higher smartphone rate for the series despite it lacking many of the features of phones that required the same plan. Employees and leaks from within have also pinned it on executive jealousy, as the Windows Phone team lead allegedly forced an OS change that not only produced a fatal 18-month delay but killed both a deal for lower Verizon rates and the time to implement support for third-party apps and other features that would have given the Kin a better chance.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. designr

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2002


    I feel sorry for the 8,810 people....

    who bought the Kin. Well, 8,809 of them anyways... Steve Ballmer can keep his.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    The blame.......

    The blame lay squarely with msft and the "me too, but not as good" products they come out with.

    - A

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Why no class-action suit from those that

    bought Kins. In some ways, the Kin can be seen a flawed phone due to the fact that hardly anyone wants to buy one. Will there be a Kingate of public outcry that Microsoft tried to pass off substandard social phones? There must be something inherently wrong with a social phone that most people won't buy and deemed so unsellable that Microsoft had to stop sales. Kin users are now orphaned and may face limited future support. Isn't that something worth suing over? In fact I saw little furor over this situation. It seems bloggers were too intent on smearing Apple's reputation as a device vendor with some "death grip" issue that could be easily corrected.

  1. Tofino

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2005


    Instant collectors item!

    Make sure you keep yours shrink-wrapped!

  1. HappySlug

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010


    Good for Verizon

    Kudos to Verizon for not trying to foist the abandoned Kin devices on more people just to clear stock.

  1. CaptainHaddock

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Apr 2004


    I wonder about the original manufacturer

    Didn't Microsoft contract Sharp to build the phones? I wonder what the minimum quantity their contract stipulates is. Surely Microsoft is going to have to pay them a lot more than the wholesale cost of a few thousand phones, considering all the design and tooling outlays Sharp must have invested in on their end.

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