Back in April Microsoft, with much ado, launched the new ‘Microsoft Kin One’ and ‘Microsoft Kin Two’ both of which were proudly presented as the new ultimate social networking phones and were set to be released exclusively with Verizon over in the US and then with Vodafone over here in the UK in August.
However today Microsoft have announced that they will not be going through with the European launch of the phone (which was the companies first attempt to create a phone from scratch) so why was the Microsoft Kin killed? Mostly due to the fact that it has been in most peoples eyes a complete failure!
It won’t surprise you to know that Microsoft phrased it slightly different in their press release, stating that they were now going to focus “exclusively” on the latest version of its phone o/s – Windows Phone 7, but if the rumours are true that cannot be the whole story.
Despite being available in the US since May the Kin has reportedly only sold about 500 units as Verion struggled to find the ’20-something hip crowd’ that the Kin was targeting, but given what the Kin was offering that was not especially surprising.
In fact the Kin was almost very impressive for all the wrong reasons as it managed to find the whole in the market just in-between ‘cheap social networking phones’ like the INQ phones and ‘expensive smartphone’ like the iPhone. Whilst the specs were relatively impressive it transpired that the price was just too high especially considering that it lacked some basic smartphone features (such as the ability to have 3rd party apps) and the market that Microsoft were looking at just opted for the other cheap basic mobile phones.
Having said all that it is a shame that we wont get to see it over here as at the very least it would be interesting to see how well it did this side of the Atlantic compared to the other – are we more willing to pay more for a phone designed around social networking… or in fact are we more likely to buy something simply because it is from Microsoft?
Whilst of course this is very much a case of bad timing and slightly poor judgement on the part of Microsoft it is symptomatic of the trend for Microsoft to attempt to spread itself out into many markets and not doing very well in quite a lot of them – look at the Zune HD for example which, much like the Kin, was perfectly capable in its own right but arrived too late into the market, was quite expensive and was ultimately well and truly beaten by its Apple counterpart.
So will we be seeing another Microsoft phone in the future? One that will actually arrive in the UK? Probably not – although Microsoft will have learned a lot from this it will not be put towards making another phone (at least not in the short term) as the statement from Microsoft clearly spells out:
“We are integrating our Kin team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from Kin into future Windows Phone releases and beyond.”
In fact Microsoft are doing a good job of drawing attention away from this with the unintentional release of new Windows 8 details, but more deliberately the promotion of the Windows Phone 7 which does look very impressive, and of course now that they have the extra man power and experience should be “compelling, responsive and bug free”.
Via – BBC