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How Many Kins Did Microsoft Sell in Two Months?

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 50 comments

Over the last 24 hours or so, there's been a lot of talk about Microsoft's Kin messaging phones, particularly how many Redmond managed to shift before they pulled the plug.

Microsoft announced the axing of the Kin One and Kin Two less than two months after the phones hit stores, and most people drew the same conclusion: sales must have been absolutely abysmal. Well, John Gruber (Daring Fireball) and his well-placed little birdie seem to think so. According to Gruber's birdie, Microsoft and Verizon Wireless sold just 503 Kins.

Now, 503 phones over a period of two months isn't just bad; it's awful. Woeful sales like that don't come from poor marketing, they're the result of an uninteresting product. But don't fret Kin fans (if you really do exist), things may not be as bad as they seem!

PocketNow has its own source who says Microsoft sold way more than 500. PN's source is the Kin Facebook page, which puts the number of monthly active users for the Kin Facebook application at 8,810. You can't use the Facebook for Kin from anything but a Kin, so doesn't that mean Microsoft must have sold more than 500? In fact, doesn't that mean Microsoft sold more than 8,000? Not necessarily.

The first thing to note here is that companies launching new products often dish out samples by the bucketful. Whether they're given to the press for review, or given away free at company functions (à la Google at Google I/O), it's safe to assume that a big company like Microsoft would probably go through a fair amount of Kins before the device even hit retail.

The second thing to note is that Verizon Wireless has 2,000 stores nationwide and those 2,000 stores probably have had a few Kins on display for people to try out. A sensible number of display units per store would be about three or four. Considering these units are aimed at convincing customers this is the phone for them, Verizon staff would have to download all kinds of applications to flesh out the experience and show customers what it's really like to own a Kin. Microsoft touts the Kin as a social phone, so naturally, Twitter, MySpace and Facebook would all be there. At four units per store, that brings us up to about 8,000 active devices that haven't been sold, but were just sitting in Verizon Wireless stores.

So, discounting devices given to Microsoft employees, PR people and the press, how many Kins did Microsoft sell? That's a question Ballmer and his crew have yet to address. However, if you take a look at that Facebook app fan page, you'll see that while there are 8,810 monthly users, there are only 583 fans of the page. Really, at the end of the day, it's anyone's guess as to how many Microsoft actually sold. So until someone at Microsoft is willing to step up and reveal the magic number, we're free to speculate all we like.

Do you know anyone with a Kin? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , July 8, 2010 10:54 PM
    Yeah, I have a Kin. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    frye , July 8, 2010 10:50 PM
    They sold terribly because they look like crap and probably performed like crap.

    And no, I don't know anyone with a kin. At all.
  • 4 Hide
    Shadow703793 , July 8, 2010 10:53 PM
    The Kin was dead even before it came to market. It was just plain bad imo.
  • 20 Hide
    Anonymous , July 8, 2010 10:54 PM
    Yeah, I have a Kin. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?
  • 3 Hide
    jaysbob , July 8, 2010 11:28 PM
    wtf is a kin?
  • 3 Hide
    zambutu , July 8, 2010 11:36 PM
    I had never heard of them til now. Not available in Canada?
  • 6 Hide
    NoCaDrummer , July 8, 2010 11:53 PM
    Quote:
    I had never heard of them til now. Not available in Canada?

    You Canadians are SO lucky... Universal Health Care and NO Kins.
  • 0 Hide
    proxy711 , July 8, 2010 11:59 PM
    NoCaDrummerYou Canadians are SO lucky... Universal Health Care and NO Kins.


    Ya hows that health care working for you guys?

    oh you're still waiting for them to attach that finger you lost 4 months ago...
  • 5 Hide
    lachow , July 9, 2010 12:27 AM
    Kin, reteaching the lesson that was Zune.
  • 6 Hide
    nicklasd87 , July 9, 2010 12:44 AM
    I didn't even know Kin was launched...
  • 4 Hide
    Madhatter4 , July 9, 2010 12:49 AM
    I knew that piece of **** was going to flop even before release
  • -2 Hide
    wotan31 , July 9, 2010 12:58 AM
    Kin was complete garbage, just like every other phone product Microsoft has ever made. They just don't have a clue when it comes to phones. Windows Mobile is a bad joke, it has what, 1% market share? The phone world right now is Android vs. iPhone. There are no other players that matter.
  • 2 Hide
    tsnorquist , July 9, 2010 1:22 AM
    @wotan

    Nokia makes a nice system with Symbian. To say they aren't "players" is a bit naive.
  • 7 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 9, 2010 1:36 AM
    Some personYeah, I have a Kin. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it?


    hold on to that kin like it was your own child dude... it's gonna be worth a lot one day, it's a collectors item for sure
  • 1 Hide
    enzo matrix , July 9, 2010 1:43 AM
    Quote:
    Now, 503 phones over a period of two months isn't just bad; it's awful. Woeful sales like that don't come from poor marketing

    Actually, they are. My first question when I read the title was "WTF is a kin?"
  • 2 Hide
    thegreathuntingdolphin , July 9, 2010 2:09 AM
    Quote:
    From my recent learning experience...Verizon's display devices are dummy units with limited funtionality and are there to show menus and what the device is able to do once it is activated.


    My experience has been that they are fully web functional phones. You could set up email, facebook, etc on them. I usually cant text or call anyone but I can do just about everything else.

    nicklasd87I didn't even know Kin was launched...


    I honestly didn't know it had launched either. I thought Kin was launching later this year.
  • 1 Hide
    mindspring , July 9, 2010 2:17 AM
    I bet ya Jane owns a Kin.
  • 2 Hide
    g-thor , July 9, 2010 3:19 AM
    You've got to be kidding. The cell phone company stores I've visited here in Canada only have dummy phones. When I was thinking about an Android phone, the only reason I got to try it hands on was the salesman had his own with him and let me try it.

    The cell phone companies here are cheap when it comes to showing you product, pricey when it comes to service.
  • 5 Hide
    walt526 , July 9, 2010 3:46 AM
    wotan31The phone world right now is Android vs. iPhone. There are no other players that matter.


    Ever hear of something called Blackberry?
  • -1 Hide
    wishmaster12 , July 9, 2010 3:50 AM
    sure i love social networking, but i wont buy a social networking phone. lol , stupid newbies.
  • 3 Hide
    spks19 , July 9, 2010 5:28 AM
    I bet a Kin would look really cool in a microwave, right next to a JooJoo...
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