Microsoft's Kin One and Two set for release tomorrow, steep price plans

Microsoft said on Tuesday that it plans to release its latest Windows Phone devices, the Kin One and Two, on Thursday May 6.

Microsoft and Verizon also detailed the pricing aspects of the devices. Kin One is available for $49.99, and Kin Two is available for $99.99, both after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access. To get either of the Kin devices you need to sign up for both a talk plan and Smartphone plan which means an outlay of at least $69.98 a month.

The price plans are likely to put many would be owners off. Both Kin devices are clearly targetted towards teen owners, of which most rely on their parents to pay for their price plans. It appears that Microsoft and Verizon overlooked this fact and it's highly unlikely that either device will sell well.

Customers will be able to order the devices online from Thursday and retail outlets are expected to begin stocking the devices on May 13.

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Are there any family plans?
I do not see why anyone thought the plans for these phones would be any cheaper than other Verizon phones. Sure they are marketed to kids but these are meant to be on mommy and daddy's plan.

I just had a look at the prices in canada for voice and data plans. I see nothing under 75$ for both... and that's with some pretty limited services as far as talk time (minutes per month) and bandwidth (500mb -- who the **** won't bust 500mb in a month!?)

If it was for more friendly prices AND product availability (which is pretty poor -- still stucked on android 1.6 at best), I'd already have a smartphone

Mouettus said,
I just had a look at the prices in canada for voice and data plans. I see nothing under 75$ for both... and that's with some pretty limited services as far as talk time (minutes per month) and bandwidth (500mb -- who the **** won't bust 500mb in a month!?)

If it was for more friendly prices AND product availability (which is pretty poor -- still stucked on android 1.6 at best), I'd already have a smartphone

On my IPHONE which i stream music and movies to fairly regularly, i rarely go near 500megs a month...namely because, like the kin, there's a wireless card in it too...and if i can, i take real internet over 3g internet.

This on a device that could take 15 minutes to update???
Neat idea... however..... I think MS missed the mark on this.

etempest said,
This on a device that could take 15 minutes to update???
Neat idea... however..... I think MS missed the mark on this.

The bigger problem is why someone would need to be told less than every 15 minutes that someone thought their farmville farm looked cool. Almost like the "he who has no life" scenario.

While push would've been cool, it does drive the data up some and it isn't Microsoft's fault that verizon rapes its customers on the requirements and rates. The phone is being ported to gsm and should get approval for sprint's network soon unless there is an exclusivity agreement on cdma providers. Sprint is the slowest network to approve phones for use on their network from my experience and tmobile is the fastest. Either one of those smaller network players will make it affordable again.

joshua.barker said,

The bigger problem is why someone would need to be told less than every 15 minutes that someone thought their farmville farm looked cool. Almost like the "he who has no life" scenario.

While push would've been cool, it does drive the data up some and it isn't Microsoft's fault that verizon rapes its customers on the requirements and rates. The phone is being ported to gsm and should get approval for sprint's network soon unless there is an exclusivity agreement on cdma providers. Sprint is the slowest network to approve phones for use on their network from my experience and tmobile is the fastest. Either one of those smaller network players will make it affordable again.

Valid point, I don't like the instant social networking 24/7 instant access as well, just that Microsoft made a product for this type of users and it's high cost and the fact there is delays will turn people away.

Edited by etempest, May 5 2010, 2:38pm :

I look at these being Microsoft phones first and Verizon phones second. And like all hardware based things Microsoft or Apple they set the price. So I am not surprised at how expensive they are.

BlendedFrog said,
I look at these being Microsoft phones first and Verizon phones second. And like all hardware based things Microsoft or Apple they set the price. So I am not surprised at how expensive they are.

Price of the phone, yes. Price of the plan, no. That is always up to the carrier and is usually a result of fitting into their classification system (qwerty/PDA vs. dumbphone). Negotionations may or may not take place to get a phone classified as dumb instead of PDA, but it's ultimately up to the carrier.

Verizon has been increasing their price plans and requiring the data plan on all 3G and Smartphones in an effort to gouge us. I'd love to upgrade the phones on my plans, but in order to get the exact same service i have now would cost an extra $30/mth just for the $9.99 data plan charge for 3G phones on something we don't use. If we want to upgrade to smartphones it's an extra $90/mth. So, they aren't getting any more money from me. I'll stay on the plan I am on and keep the phones I have until they don't work anymore.

It's looking to me now that the limits for updates were to save money for the carriers not the consumers. They'll charge the same price but it won't cost the carriers as much as they data they use is limited.

That price plan is just plain dumb. Do they realize they might sell twice as many plans at half the price? Does the phrase "lifetime value of a customer" mean ANYTHING to these guys? What really ****es me off lately is that the upgrade plans require you to have a phone for 2 years before "upgrading" at the special price. Newsflash! Guys like me NEED one of these phones every six months, just because. T-mobile gave me the upgrade price for being a good customer. THAT will keep me at T-Mobile. If they had not done that for me I would have cancelled my service, and rejoined, because that would still have been cheaper than purchasing my HD2 outright. I deal with Verizon every single day in one aspect or another, I will go out of my way to NOT give them my business. Talking to them is like talking to the Wizard of Oz.

jimmyfal said,
That price plan is just plain dumb. Do they realize they might sell twice as many plans at half the price? Does the phrase "lifetime value of a customer" mean ANYTHING to these guys? What really ****es me off lately is that the upgrade plans require you to have a phone for 2 years before "upgrading" at the special price. Newsflash! Guys like me NEED one of these phones every six months, just because. T-mobile gave me the upgrade price for being a good customer. THAT will keep me at T-Mobile. If they had not done that for me I would have cancelled my service, and rejoined, because that would still have been cheaper than purchasing my HD2 outright. I deal with Verizon every single day in one aspect or another, I will go out of my way to NOT give them my business. Talking to them is like talking to the Wizard of Oz.

2X the customers also means 2X the operating costs... so >2X the customers != 2X the profit.

Wow, thats way to high for the audience MS/VZW is wanting to attract....why not get a blackberry/android phone, its the same price per month...

bdsams said,
Wow, thats way to high for the audience MS/VZW is wanting to attract....why not get a blackberry/android phone, its the same price per month...

A Blackberry (see my reference to the Storm2) would be; the only Android in that price range is the Droid ERIS, which is priced identically to the Kin Two (so no savings there). The Kin One is the same price (on VZW) as the recently price-cut Tour. The real question is that in a shooting match with RIM (and Android to a lesser extent), what wins - fashion, apps, or features?

How is $99 ($108 AUD) expensive ? seriously a iphone is $14 a month x 24mths contract = $305 ($336AUD that's on a $59 for a 3g plan

Or they are about $700-800 outright!

Baked said,
How is $99 ($108 AUD) expensive ? seriously a iphone is $14 a month x 24mths contract = $305 ($336AUD that's on a $59 for a 3g plan

Or they are about $700-800 outright!

The phones aren't expensive at all. It's up to the data plans though, if that's too high per/month or not for people. I don't know that personally since I'm not in the US. I'll have to wait and see what vodafone does in the EU for them and compare that to the plans they have for their other phones.

Edited by George P, May 5 2010, 11:53am :

Baked said,
How is $99 ($108 AUD) expensive ? seriously a iphone is $14 a month x 24mths contract = $305 ($336AUD that's on a $59 for a 3g plan

Or they are about $700-800 outright!

I think they phones are very nicely priced. (... and they'll go lower over time to boot), but the pricing for the plans are bad. They should be cheaper or at least have cheaper packages. I'd pay $30 for data (these phones use alot of data) and a voice plan with less minutes.

ouch steep....suggestion..jailbroken "multitasking" ipad 3g=$629 ....unlimited data plan=$30/month...bluetooth headset=$40 bucks....skype goodness=$2.95/month.....look on everyone else s face when you have the coolest phone setup on the block=priceless.... really though..they should think about these prices as they are over the top...can't even compete with the best smartphones on the market at that price per month

Windows7even said,
ouch steep....suggestion..jailbroken "multitasking" ipad 3g=$629 ....unlimited data plan=$30/month...bluetooth headset=$40 bucks....skype goodness=$2.95/month.....look on everyone else s face when you have the coolest phone setup on the block=priceless.... really though..they should think about these prices as they are over the top...can't even compete with the best smartphones on the market at that price per month

You would use your iPad as a VoIP phone?

You wouldnt have the coolest phone setup on the block. You would be a dumbass carrying a 9" device to your ear and talking to it.

alfaaqua said,

You would use your iPad as a VoIP phone?

You wouldnt have the coolest phone setup on the block. You would be a dumbass carrying a 9" device to your ear and talking to it.

I agree you wouldn't have the coolest phone setup on the block. An iPad? But it wouldn't be up to your ear as you would have the bluetooth headset for that. It would work but no thanks for the iPad, I'll pass.

The problem is that it is priced identically to a Blackberry Storm2 (in the Kin Two's case), and (worse) has a more expensive standard data plan (E-mail and Web for Blackberry undercuts it by $10 monthly). Which would a teen rather have: Kin Two or Storm2?

PGHammer said,
The problem is that it is priced identically to a Blackberry Storm2 (in the Kin Two's case), and (worse) has a more expensive standard data plan (E-mail and Web for Blackberry undercuts it by $10 monthly). Which would a teen rather have: Kin Two or Storm2?

The BB Storm 2 also looks like meh to me. I think the fancy UI and tight integration with FB etc can make up for that $10 difference between the two.

After reading Engadget review on both Kin One and Kin Two I must say those devices are not that good as I first thought. Camera has many issues: not focusing properly, colors, etc. Video too is not perfect, but quite good for mobile device, but there was no noise filter for the wind. That I don't like.

The data plan and voice plan prices are quite big ones, I think most of the people will for the better product for those prices.

david13lt said,
After reading Engadget review on both Kin One and Kin Two I must say those devices are not that good as I first thought. Camera has many issues: not focusing properly, colors, etc. Video too is not perfect, but quite good for mobile device, but there was no noise filter for the wind. That I don't like.

The data plan and voice plan prices are quite big ones, I think most of the people will for the better product for those prices.

ipadGadget having negative reviews of a microsoft product? *GASP*

not saying they're not right, and I'm personally not interested, but I'd wait till a DECENT set of reviewers get ahold of it... not the Apple Marketing Department over at engadget.

david13lt said,
After reading Engadget review on both Kin One and Kin Two I must say those devices are not that good as I first thought. Camera has many issues: not focusing properly, colors, etc. Video too is not perfect, but quite good for mobile device, but there was no noise filter for the wind. That I don't like.

The data plan and voice plan prices are quite big ones, I think most of the people will for the better product for those prices.

Well, how many other phones shoot HD video? Everytime a phone comes out... and update follows to fix/enhance/adjust features. Engadget made a couple of good points, but they fail at assessing context beyond their own ideals.

Verizon failed because of the pricing structure for these plans. If cheaper, these phones would have been great in-between solution for those that want better than a feature phone, but don't need a smartphone.

Many reviews and folks given demos understood the context for these phones. Most enjoyed the performance etc. But Engadget has been anti-KIN from day one.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Microsoft don't get it, people. Lets see what comes from Windows Phone in a few months. That is their last chance....oh and Natal

I never ever get the "last chance" mentality. Microsoft can always just...wait a bit and try again if WP7 doesn't take off, or the natal dosent, or the courier doesn't get released commercially...

It's not like there's a deadline for the tech industry, and it's sure as hell not like Microsoft is going somewhere. Hell, if the company fell to 20% market share in the OS environment, I'd just start to wonder what they were going to pull off to get it back...

The tech industry HAS NO DEADLINES. It's always ALWAYS advancing. if Microsoft loses out, guess what? There's tomorrow, or next year, or next generation, or next concept. Nothing's saying anything they do has to be successful as long as they're still standing or else they are completely done.

Ricardo Dawkins said,
Microsoft don't get it, people. Lets see what comes from Windows Phone in a few months. That is their last chance....oh and Natal

Right, because Microsoft controls what Verizon charges for data plans....oh wait...

lordcanti86 said,

Right, because Microsoft controls what Verizon charges for data plans....oh wait...

Yes, They do , as they both consider revenue and profit.

Edited by ilev, May 5 2010, 7:22am :

ilev said,

Yes, They do , as they both consider revenue and profit.

No they don't. That's like saying HTC has control over T-Mobile's smartphone pricing. Verizon ultimately decided that the Kin, for whatever reason, is a smartphone and decided to levy the data plan on it. Something MS was trying to avoid, it was one of the reasons why the phones wouldn't have real time updates. This phone would have to be on a cheap (preferably prepaid) plan for it to have any chance of success. Putting it in the same plan as other smartphones pretty much dooms it since you can get Android phones for $80, iPhone 3g for $99 on the same plan or just go for a regular phone with a cheaper plan. Only thing that makes this phone different is the UI and functionality, and I doubt thats going to convince many parents to pay at least $60-80 dollars (since unlimited texting would probably be needed) a month just for a phone for their kids.

Edited by -Razorfold, May 5 2010, 7:31am :

AgentGray said,

I never ever get the "last chance" mentality. Microsoft can always just...wait a bit and try again if WP7 doesn't take off, or the natal dosent, or the courier doesn't get released commercially...


Courier is already dead.

Northgrove said,

Courier is already dead.

Bill gates has described a device that's just like the courier and said that it is still going to be produced, so yes, the courier is still coming, it just won't be called "the courier" and won't be as quick as everyone wanted.

wow, that is very expensive for something that is supposedly for teenagers who can't usually pay for it themselves.

IMO these phones should be on pay and go plans, not contract phones on pay monthly.

Inklin said,
wow, that is very expensive for something that is supposedly for teenagers who can't usually pay for it themselves.

IMO these phones should be on pay and go plans, not contract phones on pay monthly.

Agree.

c3ntury said,
I just hope they lower the price plans to something a bit more.. reasonable.

Although I've said that these phones will fail, I didn't think Verizon would help ensure that. After Microsoft sets the price of the hardware at a price kids can afford, Verizon gets greedy and prices the data at a point most can't afford. And the ones who can will probably opt for phones with better features (iPhone, gPhone, BlackBerry). But this also could be because they've assessed that these devices will be able to consume just as much data as traditional smartphones. If that is the case, then they've priced it accordingly and Microsoft just put too many data-consuming features into it in which Verizon would have no choice but to have a standard data plan.