Will Microsoft's New Kin Phones Go On Sale Thursday?

Mobile users who have been waiting for Microsoft's new Kin One and Kin Two smartphones to go on sale may not have much longer to wait, if the rumors are true.

When Microsoft introduced the two Kin phones last month, officials would only say that they would be available in May.

Now, according to what purports to be an internal report from Verizon Wireless, Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) U.S. launch partner for the Kin phones, the two devices are slated to begin pre-sales on Thursday, May 6, and will be available for delivery through "all channels" on May 13.

Portions of the report were first posted on gadget enthusiast site SlashPhone. Other sites, including Engadget, picked up the report.

The Kin phones, made by Japanese consumer electronics and technology firm Sharp, are not compatible with Microsoft's other recently introduced smartphone, Windows Phone 7.

Both Kin One and Kin Two feature touchscreens and slide-out keyboards for texting. The Kin One includes a five-megapixel camera while the Kim Two has an eight-megapixel camera. The Kin Two has more memory and is physically larger than the Kin One, and also has the ability to record high-definition video.

On the audio front, both Kins support Zune-like features for music, video, FM radio and podcast playback.

In addition, the user interface for the Kins is designed for social networking.

"Kin automatically brings together feeds from leading Microsoft and third-party services such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter all in one place, making it easier to stay connected," Microsoft said in a statement at the time of the devices' unveiling.

Microsoft has not yet announced pricing for the Kins and, in fact, has declined to comment on the leaked report.

"Kin will be available exclusively from Verizon Wireless in the United States beginning in May. Kin will be available from Vodafone later this year in Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K.," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Microsoft, Verizon, Windows Mobile, mobile device, Kin