When the smoke cleared on the cell-phone battlefields today, one mobile line was found dead and another in terminal condition: The former, Microsoft’s Kin; the latter: T-Mobile’s sidekick. Microsoft killed the Kin today after allowing only 48 days for customers to test its metal in the open market. The product, which according to the New York Times took developers two years to develop, was apparently slugging off the shelves in such a listless manner (less than 500 since May, according to BBC) that Microsoft saw fit to snip its losses.
The T-Mobile Sidekick, a flip-phone that’s been on consumers’ hips since 2002, is set to be discontinued tomorrow.
According to the report given CNET, whom T-Mobile first spoke of the discontinuation with, “T-Mobile looks to further innovate and raise the bar for the next generation of the T-Mobile Sidekick.”
For Microsoft, the Kin was supposed to carve out the younger market with easy-access to social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter; however, it fell short in competing with the powerful Apple products, and joined the bone-yard alongside the Microsoft Courier Tablet, which was meant to compete with the iPad. (If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry. It never hit the shelves).
According to Microsoft, the decision to unplug the Kin was an attempt to rearrange their mobile man-power and put all of the momentum behind the Windows 7 operation.
Microsoft slashed Kin prices from $200 to $50 for the high-end version and from $150 to $30 for version without the trimmings before discontinuation. It will not be shipping the models to Europe either. With the cell phone market still vastly untapped, the cell-phone battles will likely intensify, especially as the Android systems catch hold and make a stand against Apple.
Stay tuned for details.