Microsoft has decided to kill off the Kin, two Microsoft-branded phones targeted at teenager users. The new touch-screen phone models link well with social network sites but ominous signs emerged for the phone’s demise after Microsoft cut the price of the Kin in half.
Formerly known as Project Pink, the Kin will be folded into the Windows Phone 7 team after abysmal sales and millions of dollars lost in R&D and marketing.
Microsoft’s official statement on the Kin (from ABC News):
“Microsoft has made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. 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. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”
While the Kin isn’t going away completely, it’s clear that the Kin has not met expectations and Microsoft is shifting resources elsewhere.
Here are two mobile phones that focus on a different niche: social networking. Kin One (photo 1) and Kin Two (photo 2) are a duo of multimedia phones with a strong focus on social networking. Both of them use a customized Windows Phone 7 interface where online social interaction is central. So if you are a Facebook addict, then hands down, this phone is just the right one for you. Or is it not?
From GSMArena: The new Kin phones are set to provide a “deeply social” experience on the same platform that will bring us the first Windows Phone 7 phones. In contrast to Windows Phone 7 phones, the whole user experience will be entirely personal revolving around social networking on the go. The homescreen of the KIN phones (called the Loop) is a never-ending story of the lives of your friends. Or as the UI design team puts it “the metaphor for KIN phones is a magazine”.
There is one disappointing thing with these phones: they lack a memory card slot and that is a pretty big limitation in my point of view. To counter this limitation, the phones make use of Kin Studio – an online sync service that backups (and even shares) your phone’s photos and videos, messages, call history, etc. But, it still sucks because you are forced to have to use their online service just to do sharing even though its focus is on the social networking side, there should have been a memory card slot placed into these phones.