Microsoft KIN sales woes – Rumor hints at just 500 sold

Image showing Microsoft KIN One in the hand

The latest rumblings in the rumor mill have Microsoft selling just 500 KIN phones (KIN 1 and KIN 2) since it’s launch earlier this year. No, we’re not joking, and that’s not a typo – although if this rumor is true, we’re sure Microsoft will be wishing the sales figures were at least lacking an extra “zero.”

First of all, we should mention that this is the shadiest kind of rumor out there. All we have is a passing mention from Business Insider that Microsoft has only sold something like 500 KIN phones to date. The rumor is in no way confirmed, and could very possibly be a typo on the part of BI. That said, it’s hard to believe that any phone, regardless of how unappealing and ill-marketed, could manage to sell less than quadruple digit numbers through the largest wireless subscriber in the US (Verizon Wireless, for those of you playing at home).

Despite some heavy, although misguided, marketing on Microsoft’s part, the KIN lineup has been largely viewed as a flop by pundits and consumers alike. Putting the questionable form-factor of the KIN 2 aside, the higher-than-it-should-be price tag on the hardware and Verizon’s insistence on charging full-fledged smartphone data plan prices for KIN data services are likely to blame for the not-so-smart smartphones’ failures. Consider, for example, that the lowest-end KIN 1 is priced at $50 rather than being free on contract. Then consider that the KIN 2 costs $100 – only $50 than a Motorola Droid – on contract. Then add in the fact that Verizon makes it mandatory that all KIN phones sign up to a $20 monthly data plan, and you’ve got a recipe for failure.

In the end, we’ll have to wait for confirmation in sales figures from Microsoft. But, there’s no question that KIN is fin (as in “the end,” done, kaput).

The question, it seems, that Microsoft should have asked themselves is: what does KIN offer that makes it a compelling purchase over more powerful and feature-packed smartphones like the Droid?

So, we’d like to ask you, dear reader. Have you seen a KIN in the wild? Take our poll below!

[Via: BI]

  • Johan Ekblom

    Fatal Error. Get a Google Android instead of this shit.

  • KIN User

    There is no way this is true, the KIN application that requires a KIN to use has over 7,000 monthly active users.

    • guest

      753 monthly active users.

      many of them are from KIN team, I believe.

  • Fran

    The Kin is dead. Long live Android.

    What a flop the Kin was. Nobody wanted it because it had no apps. Couldn't IM. Couldn't even do social networking properly. Couldn't send direct message to Twitter, couldn't ReTweet, couldn't upload photos to Twitter.

    It was a garbage phone that Microsoft produced.

    • Jen

      "Long live Android." Really? Really!? Google doesn't even care about Android, they're staking their future on Chrome.

    • idro

      Android is mobile OS. Not phone. 😉
      btw what's version long live? 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2 or 3.0?

  • Guest

    Fran you have no clue what you are talking about. Kin is awesome!! no need to hook up your phone to upload your photos, they are automatically uploaded into its Studio web site, awesome zune integration etc etc etc…so easy to share/send multiple items via email…etc etc

  • Dylan

    Ok, wow. First of all I'd like to point out I don't like or hate the KIN. I do love Apple (call me a fanboy whatever) though. There a few things wrong with the article:
    1) Smartphone data costs $30 not $20
    2) The KIN 2 is the questionable one? KIN 1 is weirder, I guess it's a matter of opinion though. I do think they're both very 'cute' though.
    3)Although they said it, it's near impossible for any company to only sell 500 of any phone! I'm positive my little LG slider has sold way more then 500! Which leaves the question why did they write this article!?

  • Frankie

    Kin was originally was supposed to be based on “Windows Mobile 7” and thus be a more complete Smartphone. When Microsoft did its big reset to create Windows Phone 7, the Kin (nee Pink) team found itself caught in the middle. They had a contract to deliver Kin to Verizon Wireless in the spring of 2010 but the Windows Mobile team was too busy with the WP7 restart to help them. The Kin team had to take a snapshot of the old WM code and rush to meet the Verizon contract. This makes version 1 Kin devices an oddball variant and limits them (e.g., if they had an app store but apps were incompatible with WP7 would anyone write for the Kin anyway?).

    The current situation will be resolved when a future Kin version based on the real WP7 is released. But Microsoft abd Verizon have probably doomed the Kin brand with this premature release.

  • Sagar

    Its not a killer phone..but it has the potential to be one in a nearby period.But it comes with social networking features which they had integrated which others dont have..

    1) KIN Studio..all your images contacts and almost everything which belongs to you in your mirrored with a timeline.. your phone becomes almost your lifeline.
    2) KIN Spot.. there is no phone which provides such a feature where you can drag and drop any item to the spot to share..

    Like that there are several innovative features in the KIN. There is no phone in the market now which does have these facilities. it has the potential to compete for sure..because the OTA updates which can happen makes it a incremental development platform on the phone an on the cloud. All these applications which is missing can be

    integrated into the device just by OTA push and there is Social Networking Service backbone in the background which is also supporting it.

  • Sagar

    It seems the phone is a gradually gaining traction among yougsters in the market , Even the FaceBook fans are more than .2 million after some weeks of launch. Its very evident that others are little scary about it. There is a rumour campaign in the internet against KIN due to this mainly started by Apple fans. But its evident that they are worried about the Social networking concept Microsoft had intiated and they know very well that any catchup game on this would be costly for Apple or say Google. Now it had reached a state where bad mouth campign is getting counter productive as people are going and trying the device in the Verizon store and getting amazed by seeing the
    seemless integration with Social Networking sites and the cloud backup of all the things they had done with there phone, which is something new in this domain.

  • Sagar

    But if you are one who is interested in buying applications every now and then this phone is not for you atleast now, since I didnt see any link towards Market place. But in future versions they may integrate and you may get the update for that. But if you are one who uses facebook twitter and Instant Messaging like facilities this is

    must buy phone for you. Actually some IM facilities they are missing but it seems soon these are coming as updates to these phones.

  • Guest

    So much misinformation and quite a few moronic statements. Kin runs on CE6 which is the platform that Windows Phone 7 will also run on. The Kin OS is built in Silverlight. The strongest feature is the Zune integration. I'm not sure that the Studio is such a great thing since most people just want their info on their device to view and share. Maybe it's just my opinion but I don't do much manipulation of Phone data on my PC. The Loop is a pretty poor aggregation of postings from social networks. The basic features are difficult to use, even dialing a phone number of a contact by name/number isn't intuitive. If this phone is made for the young people, how did they leave out instant messaging and applications? Add to this the awful pricing plans on Verizon and this phone is doomed to failure. Honestly, OTA is only valuable if they're pushing out updates regularly. This phone needs updating badly and without some of the problems I mentioned getting some fixes, these are going to be just as much of a joke as the last few years worth of windows mobile phones have been..

    • Sagar

      You seem pretty prejudiced about windows phones .. but thats not the reality .. ( i hope you are not a apple fan boy..they will eat whatever craps apples throws at thier mouth..I dont have any affiliation to any company.. i am an avid lover of the first iPhone , but not iPad or iPhone 4.. since they are trying to sell the old wine in it saying its "innovation" ) so far if you see features and videos on win phone7 …it seems like others are left behind once it comes into the market.. and for KIN I hear that updates are on the way and soon ..all phones will get updated freely. …But I am not sure, but I could see in several blogs that most of the missing things they are going to add in the updates..if it happens thats great…and the social networking server also will be updated to support that..which is the big advantage in this phone I see.

  • Sagar

    Nobody cares if its CE6 or WP 7 ?? only techies care about these things. And Studio is a great feature and lot many people (see facebook page KIN) feel thats great. Its not kept in your PC rather its in your cloud account, your view about that feature is pointless. Loop is a big feature almost everyone who purchased the phone loves (again see the KIN facebook page and see comments on that) .So there is no point saying its useless, lot many folks out there loves that… Data plans is 30 dollar a month which is costly for me..but again thats relative someone can easily pay that.. but when i checked for alternatives I end up shedding money to these mobile network operators one or the other way…

  • android forever

    $30 data plan for a cripple "smartphone" is ridiculous!! It has no apps, no games… there is only a small percentage of people who are social networking junkie… This phone should have never been released…

  • Michael

    Interesting if true… KIN was more of a replacement for the T-Mo Sidekick than anything else. So the first big mistake was selling it on Verizon. Second was the requirement of a full smart phone data plan for a better than average feature phone.

    As far as the market need is concerned, take a look at the Motorola phones with "moto blur." Motorola put together an Android skin that focused on social networking – and it's a disaster. So Moto Blur is now Ninja blur – as in invisible.

  • darkly turning

    this KIN is a clear case of MARKETERS buying their own sales pitch,

    as opposed to developers creating for a existant market.

    All those bulky, well compensated and so important ''executives'' leading teams of HB1 visa holders,

    have NO IDEA what the target demographic WANTS, and they are quite certain that this target demographic is pure-stupid and can be sold almost anything with a well funded sales campaign.

    Score= 1-american consumer > 0- fat exec + Hb1 visa drone slaves

  • KinAmazing

    Down to sales levels like this, yet still amazingly well promoted by the mainstream media (BBCfor example)… strangle, but I guess that’s what you’d expect from a company who value marketing as way more important than actual products. while it’s a pleasure to watch this nasty little company die, you do have to wonder what people like Balmer get paid for?

  • wifihunter

    The Kin is currently the best (and only) feature phone Verizon has with wifi that no longer requires a data plan! I just bought the Twom yesterday for $29.99 and have been browsing the internet over wifi at home for free!

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