Will Microsoft's Kin Phones Succeed?
When looking at what kind of phones people are buying nowadays,we can narrow it down to primarily five types of devices: High-end smartphones, advanced QWERTY phones, simple QWERTY phones, simple touchscreen phones and prepaid phones.
When Microsoft announced Windows Phone 7, it immediately became clear that WP7 will be powering high-end smartphones in the future. When Microsoft announced Kin, they announced two simple QWERTY phones along with it, simple in the way that they aim to do a few things very well.
And the latter is kind of what's been missing in the "simple QWERTY phone" segment, simple QWERTY phones that shine when it comes to core out-of-box features.If the Kin phones on Verizon Wireless and Vodafone will offer tailored subscription plans,there's for instance little if anything missing in the messaging department of the Kin phones.Threaded messaging with the ability to add multimedia is about to become a trend,and the Kin phones will be at the front here. AT&T has already announced a similar "service" for its own simple messaging phones, and like the Kin phones,AT&T's upcoming phones will aim to make IM apps redundant.What AT&T's phones will not offer though, is the Kin phones' Zune experience.An experience people have craved on a phone. If the Kin phones' camera experience is only half as good as promised, they'll also beat competing simple QWERTY phones by far in that regard.Furthermore,the Kin Spot functionality enables pretty easy sharing, at least for those who are used to the old fashioned way of drilling through menus to get things uploaded.Who hasn't dreamed about something seriously smoother?It'll arrive with the Kin phones.All in all,we think Microsoft has done a pretty good job at creating simple QWERTY phones that are actually simple to use yet offer advanced core functionality.The market has needed it for some time,and we think users will think twice before going for a regular Java-based QWERTY phone next time around.We guess that's why the new Nokia C3will come with ramped up social networking from its homescreen too. Whether Vodafone customers will go for the upgraded S40 experience(will be upgraded further down the road) at the expense of the Kin experience and its Loop homescreen remains to be seen,but on Verizon Wireless, we think the Kin experience will give both the Motoblur experience and the "V Cast experience" competition.