No Kin phones for Asia, Microsoft says

Microsoft not holding talks with Asian operators make handsets available

Microsoft has no plans to bring its newly announced Kin handsets to Asia, despite the large size and relative sophistication of Asian cell-phone markets, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Kin handsets, which will be available in two models, are designed for users who want access to social networking services and videos from their cell phones, according to Microsoft. The handsets will go on sale in the U.S. next month through Verizon Wireless. Vodafone will start selling the phones in Europe later this year.

Microsoft is not holding talks with Asian operators to offer the Kin, said Lena Goh, a spokeswoman for Microsoft in Singapore, noting that distribution agreements signed with Verizon Wireless and Vodafone were exclusive.

Both Vodafone and Verizon Wireless, which is a joint venture between Vodafone and Verizon Communications, worked with Microsoft to develop the Kin handsets, she said.

While Kin is slated to be released in the U.S. and Europe, Microsoft is focusing its Asian mobile efforts on the upcoming release of Windows Phone 7, Goh said.

If the Kin does make it to Asia, Vodafone could play a central role.

Vodafone has several significant investments in Asia, including Vodafone Essar, an Indian carrier with 94 million cellular subscribers. Vodafone also has subsidiaries in Australia and New Zealand, and it owns minority stakes in Indian carrier Bharti Airtel and in China Mobile, the world's largest cellular operator.

Vodafone sold its Japanese subsidiary to Softbank in 2006, but the companies remain partners. In 2008, they teamed up with China Mobile to create the Joint Innovation Lab, a project to develop mobile Internet services. Verizon Wireless joined the group in 2009.

Vodafone has made no mention of plans to bring the Kin handsets to Asia. The operator plans to first offer the Kin in Germany, Italy, Spain and the U.K., and will also make the handsets available in other European markets, according to a company statement.

Vodafone executives could not be reached for comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile phonesMicrosoftsmartphonesKin

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?