Microsoft and Verizon defend Kin

Reviews for Microsoft's Kin phones may have been mixed, but one thing almost everyone agreed on was that paying for smartphone level data plans was too much for the reletively feature deficient devices targeted at the younger population. The minimum you'll pay under Verizon is $70 per month, which the intended market may find too steep. Bundle that with a lack of support for downloaded apps or games and having to pay $100 post-rebate for the Kin Two ($50 for Kin One), and you've got yourself a deal that's hard to swallow. In a world where you can get a Palm Pre Plus for $30 on a two-year contract, you'd think Microsoft and Verizon could do better. 

Computerworld reports that Greg Sullivan, senior product manager for Microsoft's mobile communications unit, is defending the price points. He says that "we'll be merging [Kin and Windows Phone 7] platforms and having downloadable apps," but doesn't give a time frame for that functionality or details of the merge. He emphasizes that Kin is more than just a buffer product to fill the gap between feature phone and smartphone.

"We're introducing a new category that's not exactly a smartphone and certainly more than a high-end feature phone -- a social or cloud phone -- with a rich browsing experience and rich multimedia social networking where everything I do on the phone is automatically backed up in the Kin Studio [in the cloud]."

While Microsoft was busy aggresively marketing the "socialphone" aspects of Kin, the seemingly intuitive nature of the social media sharing capablities (a statement many disagree wholeheartedly with), and the seamlessness of social network integration, it seems that the true value of Kin, at aleast according to Sullivam, is in the cloud backup and orginization features it provides in the form of The Studio.

Even the negative reviews came back positive on The Studio, with Gizmodo in particular lauding it as the new standard of cloud-based mobile communications that every company should be trying to emulate. Brenda Raney, Verizon spokeswoman, echoes this sentiment when she says that Kin's biggest feature is automatic, cloud-based backup of social media. This automatic backup of relatively large media files could be the reasoning behind the smartphone-values data pricing.

Sullivan is confident that critics of the pricing will come around once they realize the value they're getting with the combination of a strong focus on social networking and the convenience of full cloud backup.

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Kin is basically Zune + Phone, and it is running the same hardware as ZuneHD. Did no one else catch that? They are merging marketplace experiences for Kin and WP7 (meaning KIN and WP7 marketplace will be one in the same). This is amazing news for ZuneHD owners like myself who are tired of reading comments about why a PMP with a Tegra is only supposed to play music. This confirms (for me at least) that ZuneHD will be running some form of WP7 later this year, a good reason why they left ZuneHD OS support out of XNA 4.0.

As far as I'm concerned, the fact that Microsoft and Verizon need to defend the pricing is not a good sign at all.

Americans have made their mind, that any thing Microsoft is gonna do they will start making -ve comments about it before even they get the product in their hand..
Every1 around here are Apple lovers which sucks..
Some might find my comment racist , but my intention is not to hurt any one..

Sullivam said,
... it seems that the true value of Kin, at aleast [sic] according to Sullivam, is in the cloud backup and orginization [sic] features it provides in the form of The Studio.
Unless it goes down like it did for their last slider phone on T-Mobile, and user's are forced to make sure they do not turn off their phone for fear of losing everything.

It's funny to see how people pay a lot more money for Apple products and they're impressed by a 70$ a month .... An iphone 3gs here in Canada is 299$ for a 3 years contract with 60$ per month data plan minimum.... Written on palm webOS

boumboqc said,
It's funny to see how people pay a lot more money for Apple products and they're impressed by a 70$ a month .... An iphone 3gs here in Canada is 299$ for a 3 years contract with 60$ per month data plan minimum.... Written on palm webOS

And how do you know that people who are impressed by 70$ a month actually pay for apple products ?

People keep telling this phone target young. I would not give 70$ a month to my kid for a phone.

LaP said,

And how do you know that people who are impressed by 70$ a month actually pay for apple products ?

People keep telling this phone target young. I would not give 70$ a month to my kid for a phone.


Get your kid a pager, problem solved

LaP said,
70$ per month ?

It should be priced as any non-smartphone with "Mobile Web" access IMO. When I was on Verizon Wireless it was $45 for 500 mins/month, $5 for 250 txts a month, and another $5 for Mobile Web (which was next to useless). So about $55 before taxes (which jacked it up to about ~$60/mo iirc).

Any Smartphone plan on Verizon Wireless will run you $95-$100/mo (here, post taxes). If the $70/mo mentioned has unlimited text and data, than it might be justifiable. $60 sounds more reasonable to me though. Sprint offers unlimited everything for smartphones for $70/mo. I'm very tempted to switch to Sprint after my contract is up next year.

Shadrack said,

It should be priced as any non-smartphone with "Mobile Web" access IMO. When I was on Verizon Wireless it was $45 for 500 mins/month, $5 for 250 txts a month, and another $5 for Mobile Web (which was next to useless). So about $55 before taxes (which jacked it up to about ~$60/mo iirc).

Any Smartphone plan on Verizon Wireless will run you $95-$100/mo (here, post taxes). If the $70/mo mentioned has unlimited text and data, than it might be justifiable. $60 sounds more reasonable to me though. Sprint offers unlimited everything for smartphones for $70/mo. I'm very tempted to switch to Sprint after my contract is up next year.

Yeah, I dunno. I really expected them to target the $50 pricepoint... For a teen, it just seems to be more of a reasonable target...

Byron_Hinson said,
Once again they don't get it
Yes, unfortunately that's all to clear. I wonder if they'll ever get it. Good grief these phones are ugly.

Byron_Hinson said,
Once again they don't get it

Yeah, I have to agree. I really think they do have something here, but the pricing is going to kill this I think... What a shame.