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.