Verizon Plans Resurrection of Microsoft Kin

It took all of six weeks between the time Microsoft released its kid-friendly, semi-smart phone the Kin in June, to the time they conceded that no one liked it and they quit making it. Verizon apparently missed the memo or has found a way to make the phone a little less crappy. In either case, Engadget is confirming today a story originally broken by PPCGeeks that Verizon plans to revive the Kin.

The Kin's whole M.O. was that it did smart phoney things like internet uploads and Facebook updates, but that it was supposedly cheap enough for parents to buy for their teens and tweens.

That wasn't the case.

Though the devices retailed for $50 for the skipping-stone-shaped Kin One and $100 for the standard-shaped Kin Two, it still took a normal data plan (starting at $30 a month) to operate them.

Might as well just spring for an iPhone.

The new Kins supposedly will not need any data plan. But without a plan, it also loses some of the features that made it mildly attractive in the first place.


Data-centric features like the Loop "are out," we're told -- but the good news is that you'll still be able to use one of the product's most redeeming qualities, Zune Pass, over WiFi if you're not signed up for a proper data plan. Of course, the value proposition of a Kin without ... well, without its only value proposition is questionable at best, so we're thinking this might just be a way to clear huge backlogs of hardware inventory before pulling the plug on the program. Seriously, who wants a Kin without the unlimited photo uploads?

The good news for Microsoft is that they have a little less skin in the game for this launch. It was very much billed as a Microsoft product when it first came out, and the company took noticeable lumps for its dismal failure.

This time around, Verizon seems to be completely owning the re-launch, with Microsoft offering seemingly nothing in the way of promotion so far.

But if Verizon's right, and every tween in America wants one for Christmas, people will likely forget that the original craptastic Kin was ever even released.

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