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Its not Verizon thats doing the cutting; its Best Buy. Best Buy is making the Kin 1 available for free and the Kin 2 for $50. (No ridiculous mail-in rebates required.) Verizon is still selling the phones for $50 and $100, respectively. Yes, the data plan for Microsofts Windows Mobile phones aimed at the teen/20-something market is still pricey, but at least the phones arent if you get them at Best Buy.
The price cuts could help: they make the Kin 1 a free phone, and while its not as functional as a high-end smartphone, its better than a lot of the basic phones that most carriers give away for free, said Directions on Microsoft analyst Matt Rosoff. The data plan still seems a bit steep, but if its purchased in the context of a family plan, its not so bad.
While Microsoft has been trying to downplay the differences between the Kins and other Windows Phones, the different operating systems they run and the fact that no apps are available for the Kins has led many to scratch their heads about Microsofts wisdom in further diluting the Windows Phone brand at the very time the company is attempting to consolidate its mobile marketing message and strategy. Microsoft Regional Director Andrew Brust, in an open letter to CEO Steve Ballmer about Microsofts consumer strategy, suggested Microsoft kill the Kin quietly.
I think Microsoft is committed to seeing the Kin through and giving it the best possible chance to succeed at market, but I really think that Windows Phone 7 is the core of the companys smartphone strategy, and Id expect most of the companys energy to go into promoting that platform once it comes out, said Rosoff.
After some staunch criticism from key gadget-centric bloggers and press, the Microsoft Kin platform launched just less than a month ago is getting a price cut.