Microsoft’s latest, albeit belated effort to make an impact in the exploding smartphone market took flight this week when it finally made its Kin One and Kin Two smartphones available for online pre-sale through Verizon.
However, as Enterprise Mobile Today points out, Microsoft’s plan to engage and hopefully profit from younger consumers who want all the social networking bells and whistles on these new devices might not come to fruition thanks to a rather onerous pricing plan.
While the phones both have the mandatory touchscreens and slide-out keyboards and incorporate Microsoft’s Zune platform for music, video and FM radio content, users will have to absorb monthly subscriptions for both Verizon’s Wireless Nationwide Talk plan ($39.99) and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan ($29.99).
For products that are clearly targeting young people, it’s going to be interesting to see how many of them or, more likely, their parents are going to be willing to shell out a minimum of $70 a month so Jenny or Brad can listen to music and text their buddies at the mall.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced that pre-sales of its two new Kin smartphones began on Thursday via the company’s U.S. launch partner, Verizon Wireless, and said that they will be available in Verizon Wireless stores as of next Thursday, May 13.
The company’s spokespeople had coyly declined to confirm or deny the rumors of the Kin’s pending availability surfaced earlier this week.
Microsoft introduced the two handsets – named Kin One and Kin Two — nearly a month ago.