So I have kids of a sufficient age that I cannot avoid being aware of Hannah Montana. As sad as that is, it came as an even greater surprise that Miley’s bad attempt at rapping came across just about every geek or tech blog/podcast that I regularly consume. Of course me mentioning it further just propagates the news-worthiness of this particular item. Therefore, in Gumpian fashion, that’s all I have to say about that.
Onto actual news.
If you didn’t know, the T-Mobile Sidekick has been experiencing a heinous outage that’s going on a week from what I’ve overheard in a T-Mobile store (and doubly confirmed by Cali Lewis in GeekBrief #643). Engadget reports that Peek will give disgruntled T-Mobile Sidekick users a free Pronto in a move they fittingly described as a “sucker punch”. But does the Pronto look familiar? Black PDA-sized device dedicated solely to email? I remember selling these back in 2000 at a CompUSA. It was called a BlackBerry. As I recall, those things are still in use, only as cell phones. Who thought that it would be a good idea to take a BlackBerry and remove the cellular calling features and application expandability so that it only handles emails, just like it did ALMOST A DECADE AGO?
It has a color screen. And the service is ONLY $20.
If someone is seriously using the $20 service fees being lower that a $55 basic BlackBerry cell plan that includes cell minutes and data access, they need to be reminded that the difference is really just the cell plan and the BlackBerry still does SO much more. If they aren’t planning to have a cell phone, though, I could see where the device might have enticement. But what type of lifestyle do you live in which instant email access is essential, but cellular access is not? I may want to change my lifestyle. I would personally love to have my primary contact over email. Less talk, more type would be glorious. To bad most people insist on verbal communication to ensure the subtleties contained within are available to reinforce their message. Sarcasm is treasured beyond all in some circles I associate with.
Sidekick users (and any others who might come under a similar offer), DO NOT be swayed by the lure of a free device offering a sub-standard service. Microsoft will get the outage fixed soon. If they don’t, you can keep you text, email, and PHONE service intact with another smart-phone, not a glorified circa 2000 Blackberry and a prepaid cell.