Microsoft has pulled the plug on its latest foray into mobile devices, the Kin phone.
The company confirmed yesterday it would cancel its European launch, scheduled for October, after poor early sales of the device through Verizon Wireless in the US and Vodafone in Australia.
“We have made the decision to focus exclusively on Windows Phone 7 and we will not ship Kin in Europe this fall as planned,” the company said in a statement mailed to Telecoms Europe.net.
“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 US to sell current Kin phones.”
The device, launched in April, is optimized for social networking and aimed at young consumers. However, it is based on a non-standard version of Windows 7 and unable to support Windows apps downloads.
Critics also point to the high prices offered through partner Verizon Wireless, with data plans costing at least $70 (€57) a month.
“For someone flipping burgers at McDonald’s for their summer job, that’s a lot of money to be handing over to a cellphone company,” said Wired.
Microsoft would not reveal sales of the phone, but CNET said it had shipped less than 10,000.
Richard Waters, the FT’s tech writer, said: “The Kin joins the Courier - Microsoft’s twin-screen eReader prototype - on the scrapheap. How much longer can Zune, another product of the Microsoft’s effort to crack the code of consumer gadgets, continue?”