Microsoft Announces Kin One and Kin Two Release Dates
Microsoft formally announced that its Kin One and Kin Two phones would be available for online preorder starting May 6, with an in-store rollout to follow May 13, confirming rumors from earlier in the week. Microsoft hopes that the devices, which emphasize social-networking functionality in both their hardware and applications, will prove a hit with a younger demographic. The Kin phones, along with the upcoming Windows Phone 7, are broadly seen as Microsoft's attempt at reversing its declining fortunes in the smartphone operating space, where it faces fierce competition from Google Android, Apple iPhone and other platforms.Microsoft formally announced that its upcoming Kin One and Kin Two phones will be available online for preorder starting May 6, with a Verizon in-store rollout to follow on May 13. That comes days after a leaked internal report from Verizon suggested those dates for the launch. The Kin One will retail for $49.99, after $100 mail-in rebate, and the Kin Two for $99.99. The phones have been geared toward a younger demographic presumably enamored of social networking, with applications and hardware designed to facilitate posting about life's latest quirks. With its round shape, sliding QWERTY keyboard and touch screen, the Kin One is heavily reminiscent of the Palm Pre; meanwhile, the Kin Two more resembles a traditional "candybar" phone, also with a retracting keyboard. The Kin One and Kin Two include 5.0-megapixel and 8.0-megapixel cameras, respectively.
While Microsoft spokespeople have always confirmed that the phones would make an appearance in early May, a leaked screenshot of a Verizon internal report-first posted on Slashphone on May 2, and then circulated on tech blogs such as Engadget-suggested the May 6 and May 13 dates. Verizon is the exclusive carrier of the Kin phones in the United States, while Vodafone will take over those duties when the devices hit the market in Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom later in 2010.