updated 04:45 am EST, Thu November 18, 2010
Back on Verizon network with cheaper plans
After being labeled as one of Microsoft’s greatest failures having been pulled from sale after only six weeks during its original run, the Kin One and Kin Two are back on sale with Verizon. With the re-release has come a slight name change to the Kin ONEm and Kin TWOm. Microsoft only sold 8,810 units during the initial product run, but hopes to turn the disastrous sales numbers around with more attractive pricing plans.
One of the reasons blamed for the poor sales figures was that the phones, while lacking full smartphone functionality, were forced to use smartphone plans of at least $70 per month. This pitted the devices against much more fully featured phones that were also out of reach for its teenage and early 20s target audience.
This time, Verizon is selling the Kin ONEm for $20 on a two-year plan, while the Kin TWOm is being sold for $50 in a buy-one-get-one-free deal; the second phone included for the price is the LG Ally. There is also a $35 activation price. Still included is the Zune Pass option, but downloads are restricted to Wi-Fi and side-loading only. Monthly costs start at $40 for voice and an additional $10 for data.
Microsoft invested at least $250 million in developing the phones; whether the lower price is enough to rekindle buyer interest remains to be seen.