While Microsoft’s Kin was widely predicted to flop, a rumor is circulating on tech blogs and Twitter that Verizon only moved 500 units of the device in April and May.
All mentions of the rumor link back to one blog, and they don’t cite a source for the stat, nor do they elaborate on if the figure is meant to be combined for Kin One and Kin Two or a standalone number for either device. Electronista speculates on why sales figures could be so low for the Kin, if the number is in any way correct:
Unofficially, it’s speculated that the lack of a smartphone OS but the insistence on charging for smartphone-level plans may have muted interest and driven customers to the Motorola Droid and other phones with now-similar prices but more features. Most of Verizon’s marketing is also heavily invested in its Android line. In turn, Microsoft is focused primarily on shipping Windows Phone 7 for the end of the year.
Steve predicted as much back in May, prognosticating dismal sales figures due to pricey data plans and limited features:
It is a sweet spot that is totally ignored and with Verizon deciding to go for the money rather than the increased number of new ’social’ phones that could eventually be graduated up to the full smartphone. In the process, what may actually have been a great idea from Microsoft, the KIN will be lucky to survive beyond its initial retail launch.
Even Apple and AT&T understood this sweet spot area when it came to the iPad which surprisingly AT&T has kept its promise (so far) of an unlimited data plan for a reasonable price. Verizon on the other handle has basically stabbed Microsoft in the back with its myopic greed.
Microsoft has been mum on sales figures for the Kin One and Kin Two, but there don’t seem to have been any Apple-like meltdowns in demand for the Kin. Have you spotted a Kin in the wild? Can anyone confirm having purchased the device?