Decent financial performance aside, there was one thorn in Microsoft's paw during the company's results call and that was the KIN write-off. With the handsets themselves ousted from Verizon stores and sales frozen, all that was left was to figure out how much of the company's cash had been wasted overall. Without development costs, Microsoft admitted, they'd spent $240m on the project.
In the aftermath of Kin's demise, details of the mis-management and general botched effort continue to seep out of Microsoft. Business Insider quotes an anonymous Microsoft employee who says there's "embarrassment all over campus from the rank and file about the Kin announcement" while John Gruber has heard that Verizon sold a grand total of 503 Kin handsets; that fits in with previously rumored figures, though Microsoft still insist they shipped at least twice that amount.
Happy Fourth of July to readers in the US and welcome to another Week in Review! Apple announced on Monday that it had sold a whopping 1.7 million iPhone 4 smartphones in three days. I knew they would sell a lot of the things, but didn’t think it would be that many. Monday we posted up our review of the Samsung Galaxy S smartphone. We liked the device, but it had some occasional issues with CPU lag to sour the overall enjoyment somewhat.
It's officially the last day of the month. In fact, while many of you are reading this, you might actually be putting your toes into the first day of July. If that's the case, then try and save some of the excitement for the rest of us, all right? Welcome to tonight's edition of The Daily Slash. First up, in The Best of R3 Media, it looks like Motorola's late on the schedule of updates, Microsoft's got bad news for Kin adopters, and LG announced a new phone. And then in the Dredge 'Net, Amazon's getting ready for you to preview Kindle books in another way, and if you're running Windows 7 Starter Edition, it's time to upgrade.
The reviews for the KIN devices, both the Kin One and Kin Two, weren't the best on the market. However, while the main draw might not have been the hardware, or even its features, the big strike against the devices was that the data plan that was forcefully applied to them was simply too high. And, when you look at the review from GenUpload directly, or from a pure analyst position, you can see where Microsoft may have missed the mark. All of those factors could have combined to deal a death blow to the KIN, because Microsoft has announced that the KIN lineage is dead.
The KIN embargo is now lifted and I can now talk about the devices experience as well as pricing. Here's some initial thoughts.
Device pricing - The KIN One is $49 and the KIN Two is $99. That price includes a $100 rebate. That's pretty reasonable and in line with most high end feature or low end "smart" devices. The truth is KIN is neither of those things, although I expect a lot of folks to compare it to one, the other or both. The reality is the KIN is really a cloud phone. Its value is derived from cloud services, as well as the KIN Studio on the web. There's a lot that's different about these devices and a good deal of what Microsoft does here will be dependent on how well they can message this to their target demographic.