Oh dear. Gizmodo are reporting that the Microsoft Kin project has been shut down. It’s with immediate effect and the entire team are being shoved onto Windows Phone 7 instead.
The Kin phones were announced in April but they were met with poor reviews and pretty high running costs due to the necessary Smartphone data plans. We heard just days ago that initial prices would be dropped and an update was coming, but the Verizon data plans were still pretty costly for the target audience. We also heard that sales weren’t good, and certain sources claimed that only 500 had been sold.
The official statement carried by the site from Microsoft states that the original planned launch (through Vodafone in Europe this Autumn) has been binned..
“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 does indeed seem that Microsoft are cutting their losses. If they are indeed stopping everything it means that a very costly, very long-running project (Project Pink) has become a colossal failure. All eyes are now on Windows Phone 7, but with a stressed-out team now having to cope with a new influx of staff, it’s crunch time for Microsoft in the mobile arena.
Update – Strangely, the people behind the Kin Twitter account are stating that the Kin is coming to Europe still. Replies from just hours ago confirm that it will arrive in Europe “on Vodafone in the Autumn”. Perhaps the left hand hasn’t spoken to the right just yet?
Link – Gizmodo