Just a few months ago we asked if Microsoft could successfully pull off their new line of mobile phones, the Kins. The answer came in quicker than we thought it would, and that answer is a resounding "No."
Microsoft has pulled the plug on the Kin just six weeks after the things hit the market. You almost feel bad for them--while the iPhone sold roughly 1.7 million units in its first three days, in six weeks the Kin has reportedly sold "more than 1,000" units. Jeez Louise. In Microsoft's world 1,000 is nothing; that's only 1,000 more units than I sold, and I don't even make mobile phones. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars, and I almost tied them.
So what's the lesson here, folks? I didn't find the design of the objects to be offensive, so I don't think the failure came at the physical design level--do you think they failed at the research level, the usability level, the raw emotional desire level, the pricing level? For their part, CNET says that "despite a few innovative features including streaming music and a Web-based companion site, the Kin phones were criticized for missing key features, such as a calendar, as well as because the monthly fees for the phone were as high as more capable smartphones."
What strikes me most is that despite their investment, they're not trying to rejigger the Kin, just killing the project altogether. Your thoughts?
Don't have an account? Join Now
Create a Core77 Account
Already have an account? Sign In
Please enter your email and we will send an email to reset your password.
I think it was just the wrong fundamental idea to begin with. It felt like marketing conducted a bunch of focus group studies where teenagers told them they liked social media, so they assumed producing a social media phone would equal big bucks.
I think most people have a love-hate relationship with their social networking. Not a love, love, love, please give me more, faster, all the time relationship. It was too simplistic to think that this phone would be popular just because it was for social networking and that is in right now.
And anyway, is it really in right now? I feel like it is coming full circle - it was new and exciting for a few years, and now it is becoming a nuisance for a lot of us, taking up too much free time than it was ever worth.
Microsoft never proved to anyone why this was really better than just having the internet on your phone. And I always laughed at the commercial that showed that the best thing this phone allowed you to do was reunite with your ex-girlfriend, and find out that you still didn't get along.What?! That's supposed to sell me a phone?duuuumbbb.
Whilst the Xbox and Zune are technical successes, MS needs money makers and they aren't it. I think MS is just fed up of pet projects and prototypes that everyone else brings successfully to market whilst they hobble along with no direction in the mobile space.
MS says "valuable lessons learned." I laughed so hard a resistor blew out of my nose. What is MS thinking? Oh, they aren't. MS Kin was a F A I L from the word go. Just one look at that device said "Run" to earthlings who know my Droids. Wise up MS! My Droids are being made by the millions on Tatooine. The Force is with us!
Droids rule. You heard it here from R2D2
"Just because you can make something, doesn't mean you should". Sadly, their research must not have been grounded in real world needs and deep user understanding.