KIN registers its Facebook app on Facebook, where anybody can actually see the total number of monthly active users of the application. The KIN Facebook app is only available on KIN devices and can only be used by people who have KIN devices. So how many people are actually using KIN devices that are connected to Facebook? 8,810 as of right now.
There are about 2000 Verizon stores (http://www.vzwcareers.com/Why/Test.aspx?lid=//careers//why+v...), and I bet each one had an activated KIN on display. So that brings the number down to 6810. Subtract from that people who returned their phones within the 30 day window (I don't think the return deactivates the Facebook app).
But even if the real number were 8800, or even 88,000, that's nowhere near the 1 million+ Apple did on the first day for iPhone 4, or even the 500,000 estimated HTC EVOs sold.
I mentioned the iPhone and EVO as the "phones to beat" if you want to compete in the market for phones teenagers want. If Microsoft couldn't even get in the same ballpark (or even league) as these phones, pulling the KIN made sense.
Actually I disagree. I think they should have went after the EnV market, and I thought they were. They ended up doing the worst thing possible... a nice featurephone, with high-end smartphone pricing.
It was obvious that it would fail, and from reading the Engadget story, it appears that even MS knew it would fail.
I would be interested in knowing how much of Robbie Bach's and J. Allard's career rested on this product. Because, consider this, if reports are true, and MS knew this was a failure, why was Robbie Bach, the President of E&D presenting this phone at the Kin special event? They should have had a second tier GM doing the briefing. But I think at that point they already knew Robbie was toast, so might as well throw him out to the wolves.
In anycase, I was just giving you a hard time about bringing up sales numbers comparing arguably the greatest flop in MS history vs arguably the greatest launch of any consumer electronics product in history. But clearly, I'm the only one who finds humor in that. :-)
They ended up doing the worst thing possible... a nice featurephone, with high-end smartphone pricing
I agree...maybe this strategy would have worked in 2008. In fact, that was the year Sprint released the Instinct, a nice featurephone with smartphone pricing. They even started requiring the everything plans with that phone. If we could rewrite history and swap out the Instinct for the KIN in 2008 (right after Microsoft acquired Danger), Microsoft would have looked a lot more forward-thinking, and they would be in great shape to launch Windows Phone 7 as a successor to KIN. Alas, that didn't happen...
Bob was certainly a well-known failure, but how much money did they actually lose on it? How many people were demoralized by the failure? How many partners were screwed by the failure? How many customers will think to themselves, "Don't be the first to buy a Microsoft product, they might drop it within days or weeks of launch?"
Kin could have very deep and lasting repercussions. It makes Bob look like a minor annoyance and Vista look like a success in comparison. SteveB doesn't call me up and tell me how to write code, so I won't criticize him. But I think it's fair for shareholders to ask him to detail exactly what he was doing as a manager while all this transpired. He's a manager, he shouldn't have any difficulty showing off how well he managed.
Kin could have very deep and lasting repercussions
I agree...hearing about the cancellation of KIN completely turned me off of Windows Phone 7. My last 2 phones have been Windows mobile phones, but I just jumped ship for Android with the HTC Evo. Microsoft is on shaky ground with Mobile.
Funny, I'm the same way. I've been waiting for WP7, but for some reason the Kin cancellation now has me either getting an EVO or Epic. Although I knew the Kin was a flop, something about the cancellation just flipped a bit in me that said, "skip the first gen WP7 devices".
If they turn out to be good, I'll get one in 18 months or so. But the Android trajectory is looking pretty great.
That is a misinterpretation of the sentence on your part... "a well-placed little birdie told me over the weekend that they sold a grand total of 503 Kins before they pulled the plug".
The "over the weekend" phrase is marking when he was told, not when the sales took place. This interpretation is further supported by the "that" which immediately follows it, so as to separate the part of the sentence about the act of telling from the part of the sentence about that which was told. And further supported still by the use of the term "grand total" in the phrasing "grand total of #X before time_Y".
That pedantic enough to prove the point?
Accounting for registrations by unsold units is a more likely source for the difference in numbers.