I had the chance to be at a launch event and use the Kin One and Two for a bit back in early April and stated that their success was highly dependent on revolutionary data plan pricing. As you can see in the full Engadget review Verizon may have killed off the Kin devices before they even get going with standard smartphone data pricing of $29.99 per month plus a minimum $39.99 voice plan requirement. Then if you want to take advantage of the Zune Pass integration you will have to pay another $15 per month to Microsoft (not handled through carrier billing). That is $85 per month, not counting taxes and fees that will most likely put you over $90 per month for a single Kin device. I have teenage daughters and there is no way I would pay $30 for each of them to have data on their phones and think Verizon is missing an opportunity to attract this younger market. I was hoping we would see something like $10 to $20 for an individual, some exciting $60 family data plan, or maybe a $50 to $60 per month data, voice, and Zune plan that would shock the wireless world and set new expectations for monthly carrier fees. Verizon continues to remain the highest priced major carrier and I serious doubts that many will find the Kin devices an attractive option.
The Kin One is priced at $50 after $100 rebate and the Kin Two at $100 after $100 rebate, which are decent prices for high end feature/smartphone devices. However, as I mentioned before the initial price is not what sells and the monthly fees have to be lower to attract younger customers and families. I would think a teen would rather ask for a $30 Palm Pre Plus that has an awesome gaming experience, good social networking integration, and a large selection of applications that grows every day.
I should be getting a couple of Kin devices soon and plan to have my two teenage daughters put them through testing so I can see if this old man's perception of the devices is accurate or not and am very curious what they think of the devices. Stay tuned for that article next week.