From early reports Microsoft’s new Kin http://www.kin.com/ phones seem to be pretty spot on with its mix of great quality cameras, a good keyboard and a touch screen, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one. Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to get them until after the autumn. Yes the autumn, that’s nearly six months after the US gets it. And we all know that six months in this market is like several years in any other market, by the time they’re released in the UK they’ll probably already be on version 3 in the US.
So why are we the mobile backwater all of a sudden? And it’s not just the Kin we’re talking about here, every phone now seems to be launched in the US first. The reason for the Kin’s delay seems to be down to Vodafone – the network that will distribute the Kin’s in the UK and Europe under a one year exclusive deal .
Patrick Chomet, Group Director of Terminals at Vodafone explained at Techradar that Vodafone don’t think we’re ready for smartphones and that they’ll only be able to sell the Kin once they’ve done some smartphone preparation on the market.
“[The Kin phones] will be coming to the UK in early autumn, just after the summer and clearly targeting the more youthful end of the market.
“It’s part of the next wave of our aim to show smartphones are becoming mass market devices.”
“We’ve really started bringing smartphones to consumers this year
“We’ll need to make an effort to show consumers what [the Kin phones] are about and we’re already hard at work to show them what smartphones are all about in the UK.”
We at Business Mobile find Chomet’s attitude deeply patronising. The iPhone has sold over a million units in the UK, and it’s used by young and old, and for Vodafone to say that they are going to teach us how to use smartphones is just an indication of how out of touch Vodafone are with their own market.
Vodafone seems like a strange choice for the Kin, and it could be a big mistake for Microsoft to have chosen Vodafone. After all Vodafone has traditionally been regarded as a business network with high call costs, is this really the right network to launch a device aimed at the youth market?