Tech Report: Microsoft targets the youth phone market with Kin

Microsoft yesterday unveiled two new cell phones that are squarely aimed at the teen and twenty-something smartphone market. The touch-screen phones — a short, square-shaped handset called Kin One and a longer, rectangular one called Kin Two — will have a heavy emphasis on social networking and syncing desktop content for younger, more mobile lifestyles.

The KIN series will utilize the new Windows Phone 7 OS and will feature a unique interface and a custom browser. It will also feature full support for Zune, Microsoft's music platform, including access to online downloads and radio stations. The Kin will also work with Apple's iTunes interface but  there will not be any support for third party apps.

The Kin One features a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 4GB of storage, and a 5-megapixel camera. The Kin Two, also has a QWERTY keyboard, an 8-megapixel camera, and 8GB of storage. There is no word yet on pricing.

Instead of focusing on apps, the big emphasis with Kin will be on social networking. Both phones feature a home screen called the Kin Loop, which automatically brings in feeds from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and other social networks.

The phones also contain an original feature called the Kin Spot that allows users to share individual files – pictures, video, etc – without going through other applications. A user can simply drag the file they want into Spot, then choose how and with whom they want to share that file.

"We built Kin for people who live to be connected, share, express and relate to their friends and family," said Robbie Bach, president of the Entertainment and Devices Division of Microsoft. "This social generation wants and needs more from their phone. Kin is the one place to get the stuff you care about to the people you care about most."

Using Kin Studio and cloud computing, everything the phone does can be backed up online. Videos, photos, even call history will be accessible to the user without taking up storage space.

The Kin series will be exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. First shipments are expected in May.

Comment by Mike_KINoutreach, posted 6/22/2010, 11:33 AM:

Thanks for the write up! For more info on both the KIN ONE and the KIN TWO check out:
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