Microsoft kills KIN just weeks after launch

Microsoft kills KIN just weeks after launch

Summary: Microsoft is pulling the plug on its KIN mobile phones, just six weeks after launching them, and said it is moving its resources to the Windows Phone 7 team.

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Microsoft isn't using the "K" word - Kill, that is - but it appears that's what the company is doing to its KIN mobile phones, just six weeks after they hit retail shelves. Details are sketchy because Microsoft isn't really saying much beyond a three-sentence statement from "a company spokesperson" that, quite frankly, says it all:

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.

So there you have it. Maybe the rumors were true. The buzz last week was that Microsoft had only sold 500 KINs. Nope, I didn't leave out a zero or two. That's Five Hundred. Yup, that's it.

The KIN, of course, was supposed to be targeted at the teenage audience but that had trouble written on it from the very beginning. Teens don't need scaled-down smartphones. Some of their parents might need one - but teens today are savvy enough to be using iPhones, Android devices, BlackBerrys and other higher-end devices.

Microsoft should have known that.

Maybe this was the smartest move that Microsoft could have made. Microsoft could have kept pouring money into the KIN lineup but bloggers like me would have probably just mocked them for standing by a loser. Instead, Microsoft appears to be cutting its losses and spinning those KIN resources into the launch of Windows Phone 7 later this year.

The person in Redmond who suggested that strategy deserves a raise.

Also: Remembering KIN: The original photo gallery.

Topics: Telcos, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility

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6 comments
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  • Anyone coming up w/ KIN should be fired

    Makes you wonder what took Ballmer that long to reorganize their mobile division.
    LBiege
  • Saw this coming before launch

    ...
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • RE: Microsoft kills KIN just weeks after launch

    You seem to imply that this is somehow Microsoft's fault when in reality it was Verizon. The Kin was a great little phone that brought new design concepts. It was Verizon that decided to charge an outrageous plan for it.
    Loverock Davidson
  • No doubt...

    NonZealot, LoveRock, Zern, MJF, etc can spin this as a positive for Microsoft.
    zkiwi
    • Agreed

      It's hard to spin this failure. All the big tech companies have had them, including Apple and Google, but none so quick and costly to brand and reputation, not to mention the financial cost. Ballmer's exit would increase MS's stock value greater than almost anything the company can do over the next two years.
      rynning
      • failures

        @rynning
        name an apple failure for the last 13 years. it's about leadership. since steve jobs return apple had no failure, microsoft had one after another since ballmer took over. (and no with 6 million units sold alreday the apple tv is not a flop).

        so a toast:
        "may steve ballmer remain at the top of microsoft for as long as it takes!"
        banned from zdnet