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Microsoft Unveils 'Pink' Phones As Kin One and Two 278

Posted by kdawson
from the japanese-schoolgirls-have-moved-on dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft has recently launched two new phones known as the Kin One and Kin Two, previously codenamed 'Pink.' The phones are designed to appeal to social-networking-focused teens, which is probably why the marketing team has tried to spice up the packaging of the phones. According to a Microsoft official the phones are named Kin because they 'knit together ... kindred spirits.' The phones have a keyboard. The Kin One has a 5-megapixel camera, while the Kin Two's 8-megapixel camera can shoot 720p HD video. Both cameras include an LED flash. The One has a mono speaker, the Two's is stereo. One includes 4GB of on-board memory and the Two has 8GB. Both Kin phones have touch screens. According to the hands-on, the Kin phones are based on the same Windows CE core as Windows Phone 7, and they have an IE-based browser. These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead, very good messaging phones."
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Microsoft Unveils 'Pink' Phones As Kin One and Two

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  • Designed to Fail (Score:1, Insightful)

    by gdavidp (709900) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @03:35PM (#31837490) Homepage
    So with peer pressure today, what kid in their right mind is going to want this phone? It isn't an iPhone or a BlackBerry... This will be a failure, just like the Zune.
  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jimmyhat3939 (931746) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @03:35PM (#31837492) Homepage

    I just can't take these products seriously. Instead of this niche marketing, microsoft needs to focus on something with broad appeal. There's a reason iPhone beat them in that space, and this is exactly it.

  • Re:Way to go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @03:44PM (#31837648)

    Tweens and Teens sounds like a pretty big market to me. Depending on the price they'll either do alright or fail miserably. If Jr want's a $200 smart phone but one of these can be had for $50 you can bet there's going to be a lot of parents that take something like this as a compromise. If the options are spend $400 (+$30 per month) or something at a more reasonable price that gets by with a smaller data plan, parents will jump all over it (lest they be labeled 'bad parents' by their kids for not getting them what they want).

    Time will tell, we don't really know enough about the phones to say much at the moment. To me they look like the almost-but-not-quite smart phones that are already on the market today. MS might be too late to the party to see major sales.

  • Kids these days... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @03:52PM (#31837798)
    Are kids these days really SOOO obsessed with their facbook/twitter accounts that they have the urge to 'share' *everything* they encounter with their *friends*?! If so SMS/MMS work just fine for them and does not require them or their friends to have a *special* phone.
    The ads/videos are absolutely horrible - who came up with this? Feeling disconnected because you didn't have your phone for weekend? Sad.
  • Re:8GB (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dave562 (969951) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @03:54PM (#31837826) Journal

    The phone takes 720p HD video. It also has speakers and so I'm going to make a wild ass guess here and suggest that it plays MP3s also.

  • Re:Way to go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by painandgreed (692585) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:02PM (#31837964)

    "These phones have no downloadable apps, no games, not even a calendar. They're not meant to be expandable smart phones; instead very good messaging phones."

    Nice job, Microsoft. Way to ignore the growing trends in favor of your own way. After all, you certainly know better than those lousy consumers.

    In all fairness, though, they'll probably sell like hotcakes in the niche market they're designed for. I just don't see it as a very big market.

    Actually, it's probably a good move for the same reasons that the iPhone was a good move. Smartphones, while growing still aren't the majority of the market. Lots of people want "just a phone". Kids, however, want messaging, but the parents that pay for it probably don't want smart phone fees or for that matter, connection to the internet. There was a story on /. just yesterday by a parent asking how to filter his teenage kids access to the internet. It seems like a perfectly valid market that is probably no more niche than smartphones. Not everybody needs or wants a smart phone, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who want a messaging phone. I think the real test will be if it followed good design and they are indeed "very good messaging phones."

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:05PM (#31838018)

    Well, how would Microsoft do that? They just don't have a history of delivering an market-winning product into a strongly competed field. It's not what they're good at.

    Xbox worked because game consoles have captive games. Windows works because of equivalent lock-in. How do they do that in phones, without ending up with another Zune?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:06PM (#31838038)

    On which planet would this be?

  • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:11PM (#31838138)

    If anything kills them, it's the MS connection.

    Why would the tween-teen market give a damn about the geek's distate for anything Microsoft?

  • Azure Data Grab (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yuioup (452151) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:15PM (#31838218)

    From what I could understand from the presentation, everything goes through Azure.

    Which means that all the posts you make go through Microsoft's data centers before they get posted on facebook/twitter/whatever.

    This is all just a scheme for Microsoft to gather user data and to monetize on it. A data-grab scheme, plain and simple.

    Tag this: Do Not Want

    Y

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimmyhat3939 (931746) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:19PM (#31838276) Homepage

    Doesn't Xbox lose money still?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:21PM (#31838292)
    Wait, SMS, the IM protocol which you cannot easily use on a computer, has no support for status messages, limits messages to 160 characters, and costs money to use? What IM protocol has trouble beating that?
  • Re:Potential... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wjousts (1529427) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:34PM (#31838528)

    What will happen to the users of this phone if the social networks change?

    Not a problem, most kids will trade in their phones every couple of years of so anyway.

  • Re:Potential... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trcooper (18794) <coop AT redout DOT org> on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @04:43PM (#31838670) Homepage

    You're right. There is a lot more to the mobile phone market than the high-end smart phone. Compared to any smart phone these two devices can't compete. But against the EnV, Backflip, etc I'd say they're more than interesting. I think the low to mid end of the mobile phone market is under-served with quality devices, there's a plethora of phones out there, but very few that are any good.

    If these phones are executed well, they could definitely fill a gap in the market.

    What I find most interesting about them is the ability to use a Zune Pass to download OTA. Either you're into music subscriptions or you're not, but I'm perfectly happy with the model and have used Rhapsody for years now. VZW currently has a rhapsody app for phones, but you can't use your to-go subscription to download songs OTA, and to rub salt in the wound it's something like 1.99 to purchase a song you can buy on your PC for .99. If you can download OTA for 'free' that could really increase the appeal of these phones.

    Yeah, the phone is underwhelming if you're looking at it along with Android devices and the iPhone. The thing is, not everyone is, and phones like this are going to have appeal to people who are looking one tier below a smart phone.

  • by dbcad7 (771464) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:46PM (#31841460)

    SMS > IM.

    SMS survives only because there are people without data plans.. People who have a data plan often add in small SMS plan to their phone because they have some friends who still don't have a data plan.. as data plans increase, there will be less people who do this.. I pay a little extra for SMS, but not for much longer.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:59PM (#31841774)

    That's hilarious. SMS is obscenely expensive, very unreliable, limited to phones, and very expensive. Yes, expensive is in there twice for a reason.

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