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Microsoft Kills Off Kin Phones After 48 Days

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 27 comments

It's been less than two months since Microsoft revealed its Kin line of smartphones to the world but the company is already pulling the plug on the messaging phones.

When Kin One and Kin Two launched, everyone was a little bit puzzled. Why would Microsoft announce Windows Phone 7 but run a different OS on the first two own-brand phones it's ever produced? And these were cheap phones aimed at social networking and messaging; no one ever expected Microsoft to first target a niche market before releasing a phone for everyone.

It looks like Microsoft agrees with us. Just 48 days after the devices went on sale, Redmond has announced it is dropping the Kin line. It won't be debuting in Europe this autumn and the team working on it will join the Windows Phone 7 team, where Microsoft will be focusing its efforts going forward.

"We have made the decision to focus on our Windows Phone 7 launch and we 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."

The Kin One was a small, round device with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard; a 2.6-inch (320x240) QVGA touch screen; a Tegra APX2600 CPU; 256MB of DDR RAM; an accelerometer; GPS chips; 802.11b/g, EvDO Rev. A; Bluetooth 2.1; a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, and 4GB of storage.

The Kin Two boasted 8GB of storage; an 8-megapixel camera with an LED flash the ability to shoot HD video; a 3.4-inch (480x320) HVGA touch screen; a Tegra APX2600 CPU; 256MB of DDR RAM; an accelerometer; GPS chips; 802.11b/g, EvDO Rev. A and Bluetooth 2.1.

They both shared the same foundation as Windows Phone 7 but don't run the shiny, new OS.

Rest in peace, Kin. We hardly knew ye.

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  • 7 Hide
    wiobin , July 2, 2010 12:01 AM
    Microsoft pretty much fails at phones
  • 8 Hide
    wonspur , July 2, 2010 12:03 AM
    who would buy such a bad phone to begin with...
  • 2 Hide
    bdonedge , July 2, 2010 12:05 AM
    Shouldn't have started these to begin with. I don't understand how they thought it was a good idea.
  • Display all 27 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , July 2, 2010 12:06 AM
    I wonder if this means that they will not produce windows phone 7 phones that target the same niche.
  • 5 Hide
    proxy711 , July 2, 2010 12:09 AM
    I'm surprised they lasted this long.
  • 1 Hide
    loomis86 , July 2, 2010 12:19 AM
    Stupid looking phone with a stupid sounding name. They probably sold 5 in the first month. I bet there's gonna be some really good deals on kin phones soon.
  • 0 Hide
    tsnorquist , July 2, 2010 12:20 AM
    R.I.P Kin.
  • -6 Hide
    war2k9 , July 2, 2010 12:34 AM
    I wonder how can Steve approve this thing to began with.
    This show how good steve is as a CEO of M$.
  • 0 Hide
    chickenhoagie , July 2, 2010 12:36 AM
    really glad they ended this. those phones are garbage
  • 2 Hide
    house70 , July 2, 2010 12:47 AM
    Dear Bill,

    PLEASE COME BACK!...
  • 3 Hide
    Kelavarus , July 2, 2010 1:28 AM
    That's kind of a shame, my cousin wants one of these, I was going to get her one, it's only $50 anyway. They looked fairly neat to me. There are actually quite a few phones that look like the KIN One, and honestly, if a name alone is going to turn you off a product, there's a lot of cool shit out there you're missing.
  • 1 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , July 2, 2010 1:41 AM
    Well what do you know, another example of Microsoft playing "beta tester" with its customers. I don't know who's in charge of their mobile programs, but they've been killing off support for new products pretty often lately, and this new business model doesn't reflect well on Microsoft. I'll just quote an earlier post of relevance to this ill conceived plan:

    "Yaa... the dirty little secret we're not being told is that Microsoft has basically dumped development support for their Zune HD "beta testers", sacrificing a good portion of their loyal fan base in order to accelerate the development of their Windows Phone 7 OS and hardware platform. Much of the UI is merely an evolution of the one found in the Zune HD, but the apps and games created and ported to this new WP7 platform using XNA 4.0 will not be compatible with the Zune HD. And yes, that includes the recently announced Xbox Live Arcade games.

    It really sucks, but I think Microsoft has made a huge mistake in overlooking the Zune HD like this, a device that isn't even a year old. I can't imagine what would've happened if similar actions were taken against the Moto Droid (people would probably think twice before buying the Droid 2)."

    Oops, and the next day something very similar to my hypothetical situation comes true. I think this current situation with the Kin is very similar, and it's pretty shameful of Microsoft to 'use' their customers in this way. So what happens if WP7 doesn't pan out quite as well as they're anticipating? Will they simply kill support for it a few months later in anticipation of something newer and better? Will people then justify it by saying "who would buy such a bad phone to begin with..."? The problem isn't that consumers are buying these products, it's that Microsoft is using them to achieve a powerful, robust, and popular mobile platform, no matter how many short lived non-supported iterations it takes. Supporting 'older' products and having backwards compatibility is such a burden.
  • 0 Hide
    xxsk8er101xx , July 2, 2010 1:44 AM
    It also required the 30 dollar data plan. You can get the droid incredible that is a thousand times better for a 100 bucks more and with the same exact plan.
  • -1 Hide
    opmopadop , July 2, 2010 1:46 AM
    Im not sure if integrating a team that made KIN a reality is a positive move for the WP7 team. The last thing WP7 needs is a team full of bad ideas!
  • 0 Hide
    xxsk8er101xx , July 2, 2010 1:47 AM
    50 dollars plus the 30 dollar data plan! Just get a smart phone.

    KelavarusThat's kind of a shame, my cousin wants one of these, I was going to get her one, it's only $50 anyway. They looked fairly neat to me. There are actually quite a few phones that look like the KIN One, and honestly, if a name alone is going to turn you off a product, there's a lot of cool shit out there you're missing.

  • -1 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 2, 2010 2:08 AM
    Not sure why Microsoft released this. It should've at least ran Windows Phone 7...
  • 0 Hide
    Maxor127 , July 2, 2010 4:43 AM
    Ouch. Must've really been a failure. I see a commercial for it on almost every commercial break on TV.
  • 0 Hide
    Darkerson , July 2, 2010 11:32 AM
    Well that was rather pointless...
  • 1 Hide
    halcyonnn , July 2, 2010 11:50 AM
    You are talking about the current Kin phones like they are no more, "The Kin One was a small... The Kin Two boasted 8GB of storage..." However, your article quotes MS as saying "We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."

    Are they stopping production of the current ones? It looks to me like they are just not rolling it out to new markets or developing new phones.
  • -2 Hide
    wotan31 , July 2, 2010 1:07 PM
    Complete failure. Microsoft products do very well in the market, when it something they bought from someone else. Look at Office. Look at IE. Both very successful, and both were bought from other companies. Products that Microsoft develops entirely on its own, by itself, are usually complete failures. This Kin phone is just another example of that.
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