Just six weeks after launch, Microsoft’s Kin phone is dead. Microsoft is pulling the plug, sources close to Microsoft tell us.There won’t be a separate Kin product anymore. Effective immediately, Andy Lees is shoving the entire Kin into the core Windows Phone 7 team.
The reason? Sales. While Microsoft never confirmed (or denied) that only 500 Kins were sold, at the very least, they’ve sold so few that after just a few weeks, they’re killing a project that was in development for years. (And cost millions.)
One likely reason it bombed? Price. Verizon priced it like a smartphone, even though it wasn’t. Even cutting the device price drastically didn’t alleviate the high cost of the monthly plan.
The few people that did buy a Kin will still get support from Microsoft, but the future of promised software updates is up in the air. It seems safe to say Kin isn’t going to evolve into the things we hoped it would. At best, we have to hope the things we did love—Kin Studio—will make it into Windows Phone in some guise.
Microsoft’s official statement on the matter, for what it’s worth, is vague:
“We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones.”
It’s not the first major innovative E&D project Microsoft’s slaughtered, but it’s the first that’s actually made it to market before being gutted. We’re not sure what Verizon’s doing with their current stock of phones, but we’ve reached out for a statement.