T-Mobile Planning the Return of the Sidekick Discussion

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Grant Hatchimonji, Jan 21, 2011.

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  1. Grant Hatchimonji

    Grant Hatchimonji Brighthand Site Editor

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    The Sidekick is one step closer to resurrection now that T-Mobile has confirmed that a 4G version of the discontinued T-Mobile phone is on its way. The next version of this once-popular consumer-oriented smartphone will run a new operating system.

    Read the full content of this Article: T-Mobile Planning the Return of the Sidekick

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2014
  2. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    It's not a bad idea. I wonder if Tmo will again offer a special rate plan for these. If they intend to slant it toward the young folks, it will have to be affordable. And if they don't teenager it too much, some older folks will buy in as well. That was what happened with prepaids.
  3. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    The real question is, what will the Sidekick actually be? The Sidekick was cheap before because your data only existed on a server (which, oh yeah, crashed and lost the data). They surely aren't returning to that. So is this going to be just another lower end Android phone? What is distinctive about being a Sidekick? What makes it worth resurrecting after the previous unmitigated disaster?
  4. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I think it will simply be a lower-end Android device. If they're smart, they will mimic the form factor of the old one as much as possible.

    I expect big G's servers have more fail-safes.
  5. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    Just to remember in perspective, it was Andy Rubin, creator of Android, who also created the first Sidekick devices. At some point, Danger, the company he helped cofounded, kicked him out (or maybe he resigned from that) and from there he started his second venture, which became Android.

    Its really natural to see Android succeed the Sidekick. The Sidekick's main body design is also quite amenable to Android and if you notice, the G1's design doesn't fall far off from the Sidekick design. Android also inherits all the Cloud concepts from the Sidekick but Android does have the local storage persistence (i.e., stores contacts on local phone memory) that Sidekick lacks.

    The notable thing about Sidekick is that the name is owned by T-Mobile itself. In theory back then, Danger could have sold the same design to another carrier but it can't be called a Sidekick. It is the T-Mobile-Sidekick connection that also led T-Mobile to be the first carrier to offer Android devices (G1 and MyTouch 3G).

    The question is now who will make the new generation Sidekick? HTC? Previously, Sidekicks were made by Motorola and Sharp. Sharp lately has been going gangbusters with their own Android designs in Japan.
  6. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Moto, of course, is already lousy with Android devices so no problem there.

    Sharp would be nice. They made the best scientific calculator I ever owned.

    Then there were the Zaurus PDAs.

    Would be nice to see them back in the U. S. market.
  7. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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  8. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    Like most of you, I think this is going to be a marketing move, in which T-Mobile puts the Sidekick name on a standard entry-level Android OS-based smartphone and that's it.

    It would be nice if I was wrong, and T-Mobile found some way to re-create some of that old Sidekick magic, but I don't think it's going to happen.

    As a guess, the carrier is going to start calling all its entry-level models targeting teens "Sidekicks".
    -
  9. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    And, I might add, superior to most high-end smartphones lately. :(

    I wonder what the differentiator can be? Consider the Cliqs and other less-espensive Androids already out there. Any phone can text. Any feature phone can play music. Most phones and certainly all Androids can do social networking. What do they think the teens want that they don't already have?

    And, if they saddle all the lower-end models as "Sidekicks", they run the risk of turning away older potential buyers who don't want or need the more expensive models, at least not as their initial purchase. :confused:

    I agree with Ed. They really need a well-targeted killer feature for the younger crowd but I doubt they have it.
  10. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    I think the only differentiator I can think of is via styling. Its not hard to make something physically look like a Sidekick, with the same keyboard, then add an Android OS to it with a built in UI layer.
  11. Varjak

    Varjak Newbie

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    Not sure what you're saying here. Sometimes, items targeted at a certain group, get recognized as good values or functional for other groups. The Honda Element (and Scion Xb) were targeted at a very young crowd. As it turned out, lots of baby boomers discovered they were fun, economical, and practical, and bought them too. A good feature phone without a lot of apps or whatever, might just appeal to both a teenager and a light feature-phone user.
  12. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I guess so. I think the same phenomenon happened with prepaid phones. Virgin Mobile certainly tried to be slanted to the younger crowd and the older among us bought in droves. Unintended success.

    The Element and the XB were successful that way, I think, because they were easy to get in and out of, comfortable to sit in and still economical. More the XB than the Honda in that last respect. The Kia Soul and the Nissan Qube continue that tradition.

    I thought the Sidekicks were neat myself, what with their hardware features and the specially-priced data plan. But the handset had a low res screen and a few other cut-price things that turned me off.

    I guess I'm trying to say that with so many lower-cost Androids available, why specialize one just for the young folks and risk turning away the older ones but I guess what you're saying is that's not likely to happen.
  13. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    I don't know much about the US featurephone scene but on this island, there are tons of cheap LG and Samsung slider messaging phones aimed at the prepaid market. These are the models I see a lot in the international market like the LG KS360 or the Samsung Corby.

    Honestly I can text faster on a touchscreen, but a slider keyboard is much more fun to use. Even though I can just type replies on my Desire Z right in the screen using the software keyboard, I often waste time going landscape, opening the keyboard to type a few sentences in. The press and crunchy feel of a button on hand muscle do create a true biological addiction (muscle memory) that we also experience with PC keyboarding or handling game controllers. I sort of miss that on my sold Blackberry too (hence the "crackberry").
  14. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    Some of the Android fan sites got leaked photos of the new T-Mobile Sidekick 4G. So yeah, its a serious phone. Its also made by Samsung (surprise!). But it looks like a Sidekick, including five row keyboard with roundish buttons.

    I honestly thought it would be HTC or Sharp going to make it.

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