Microsoft Kin Phones Making Curious Comeback on Verizon

When Microsofts Project Pink” Kin phones made their debut on the Verizon Wireless network in April, they disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived, and not because they were flying off the shelves. They werent selling, and they ran on the old Windows Mobile platform, rather than the Windows Phone 7, which debuted later in the year. So it may come as a surprise that Verizon is bringing back a lite” version of the Kins according to a leaked Q4 mobile device roadmap.

Theyre getting a second chance being marketed as feature phones, rather than smartphones, says a new report. This time they wont come with pricey data plans.

Originally aimed at the avid social networker, Kin 1 and 2 were part of Microsofts Project Pink” initiative, which set out to create form factors based on its acquisition of Danger, a software and services company with roots in the consumer mobility market. The T-Mobile Sidekick, for instance, is a Danger device. The idea was to specifically bolster Microsofts profile for users other than business users, which is really the only place it has gained any sort of traction with Windows Mobile phones in the past.

Since they were supposed to appeal to a younger demographic, more affordable data pricing of $10 to $15 might help them sell this time around. No word yet on a specific date for the re-release or how much the phones will cost.

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