Microsoft KIN One And KIN Two Now On Sale At Verizon

Microsoft may not actually make their own phones (the KIN One and KIN Two are both manufactured by Sharp), but they're stamped through and through as an official Microsoft product. After being introduced in early April in hopes of luring tweens and fans of social networks, the company's newest two featurephones have gone on sale at Verizon Wireless, the company's exclusive launch carrier in the U.S.

Both phones are designed to let users "share life as they live it," with each phone being tightly integrated into Twitter, Facebook, etc. Today, both phones are now available to order online from Verizon, with availability in stores set for May 13. The pricing has us a bit stumped, though. The KIN One will sell for $49.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate, while the KIN Two will sell for $50 more. Both prices are only in tact with a new 2-year contract, but what really kills the value proposition is this: both phones require standard $29.99/month data plans.

These data plans are exactly the same as the ones used on the DROID, DROID Eris, DROID Incredible and Palm Pre Plus. All of those smartphones are on Verizon, and all of those handle social networking just fine, and could take better advantage of the smartphone data plan. At any rate, some who really care only about social networking may go for the unique user interface here, and if that's you, the time is now to jump in.

  • Always stay in the loop: With the KIN Loop, all of your favorite people and things you love are right on your home screen in real time.  You tell KIN who and what is important, and it delivers the latest updates from your favorite websites and social networks such as Facebook®, MySpace and Twitter.  You can discover and share, all from one place.
  • Share your story with the world: The KIN Spot is the new way to share.  Share almost anything – photos, texts, Web pages – with almost anyone.  Since the Spot is always on your screen, it's unbelievably easy to drop stuff into the Spot and send by text, e-mail or social network update.
  • Your phone, on the Web: With the KIN Studio, almost everything on your phone – messages, contacts, photos and videos – are backed up to a private, password-protected website where you can visit all of your memories anywhere there is a computer.  And with virtually unlimited storage, there's almost no limit to what you can keep.
  • Capture and share all your memories: The KIN Camera captures all the moments that matter most, and makes it easy to share them.  The KIN ONE has a 5 MP lens while the KIN TWO has an 8 MP lens and shoots video in HD.  With anti-shake, autofocus and an LED flash, KIN lets you take amazing pictures, even in low light, and post or share them with just one touch.  And all your memories are backed up with tons of storage in the KIN Studio.
  • Tunes and info – at your fingertips: Find what you need on the go:
    • Zune – KIN is the first Windows Phone to feature a Zune experience – including music, video, FM radio and podcast playback.  With a Zune Pass subscription and Zune software on your PC, you can listen to millions of songs from Zune Marketplace on your KIN while on the go or load from your personal collection.
    • Bing – Web and Near Me (location-based) search.
    • E-mail – Support for all popular Web-based mail, POP/IMAP services, as well as Exchange for business e-mail and contact sync.  Each e-mail account has its own screen so it's easy to navigate.
    • Browser – With KIN, you get full, rich PC-like browsing.  You can pan, scan and zoom in and out using touch gestures.  And browsing is social; it's easy to share a snapshot of the website you're viewing by dragging it to the Spot.

Pricing and availability

  • Starting May 6, KIN is available online at and will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores on Thursday, May 13.  KIN ONE is available for $49.99, and KIN TWO is available for $99.99, both after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.  Customers will receive the rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.  
  • To get the most from KIN, Verizon Wireless customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access.  Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.
  • For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to
  • For more information and a specification sheet, please visit