Unlike the iPhone or BlackBerry, Microsoft has made it very clear that it is not attempting to redefine what we think of “smartphone computing.” They are after another user group with its new Kin phones and with the launch event held in a night club with young hipsters demonstrating the phone’s features, it leads us to think what demographic this phone is for and whether they will redefine the feature-phone market.
They’ve been named “life-casters,” or the “upload generation” and the handsets are aimed at those who text, tweet and run their lives through social networking. You can connect to Facebook, Twitter, share and view everything in one simple feed and allows you to stay connected, without really having a full-fledged smartphone.
A similar attempt was made with the T-Mobile Sidekick a few years ago and they do offer many of the same features and functionalities but it makes us think, will this latest attempt by Microsoft redefine this feature-phone market? Or, will it fall through the cracks because smartphones are getting cheaper and cheaper every day.
The social-friendly features of the Kin phones will entice members of the younger set and is a device that bridges the gap between regular cellular phone handsets and the smartphone.
Feature phones have rapidly grown in popularity over the years because of the cheaper costs to own one. Plans are relatively cheaper as it does not require the user to pay for a data plan. It is often preferred by parents who want to get their children their first phone. It allows them to stay connected to their friends via Twitter and Facebook, but achieve the goal at a much lower cost.
With the “Loop” program and the tiled-widget design, will it attract users through it’s promoted simple and ease of use? Will the promoted seamless integration entice users to buy the device as a cheaper alternative? Does it redefine what we think of feature-phones presently? These are questions many will pose and only consumers will be able to judge it when the phone comes out.