The Microsoft KIN devices are aimed at students and the younger user in particular, to take control of their online lives and stand out from the crowd as part of the cool-kid collective.
As I strongly suspected, the pricing issue and the potential for an inability for networks to play ball has indeed arisen, meaning while the device itself may be relatively cheap, the network costs for the full package will be extortionate.
All good and well on the device front. I'd say that's relatively cheap off the mark, and $99 after a $100 mail-in rebate isn't too bad. But here's where it gets tricky.
All in all, if you were to go with just voice and data - which frankly is the very least you will need for these phones - that's going to cost you over a two-year contract:
In short, it's roughly $85 per month for two years. Gizmodo has some figures; though mine and theirs don't completely add up (there's a chance they don't have dyscalculia, which really doesn't help).
Figures are rounded up to the nearest dollar and is a rough estimate of how much the total device plus plans will cost over the two year service agreement with Verizon. Of course, this may fluctuate based on how much usage you actually consume.
So, it's not the hardware or the software, the social networking aspect, or the lack of downloadable and installable applications that is the issue with these devices. It always has been, and always will be the price - even before it was announced today.
Will you buy one for yourself or your teenage kid?