A Handset Strictly For E-MailA Handset Strictly For E-Mail
Would you pay $100 for a handheld gadget that can only check e-mail? I thought about that question as I saw the thin, QWERTY-board sporting device from startup <a href="http://www.getpeek.com/">Peek</a>. I'm still struggling to think of a reason for this thing to exist.
August 20, 2008
Would you pay $100 for a handheld gadget that can only check e-mail? I thought about that question as I saw the thin, QWERTY-board sporting device from startup Peek. I'm still struggling to think of a reason for this thing to exist.The pitch is that the device just does e-mail, but it does it well. You'll be able to pick up the device relatively soon from big-box chains like Target, and you'll have to pay a $20 monthly service fee to get e-mails over T-Mobile's networks.
Details about the hardware are sparse at the moment, but you can follow updates on the company's blog. What is clear is that the folks at Peek think true convergence of mobile devices is still far away: Indeed, there are lots of pretty impressive smartphones out there. But one thing we just can't get over: nobody carries "just one thing." We've been noticing it for years -- going to business meetings and people with PDAs and e-mail devices and cell phones on the conference table; hanging out with friends and seeing them whip out point-and-shoot digital cameras, handheld game players, and a flip cell phone. This point definitely rings true, at least for me. When I'm out and about, I'll at least have an e-mail-capable cell phone and an iPod. But the Peek seems like an unnecessary added device when most midtier mobile phones are perfectly capable of reading e-mail. Additionally, the service will only be good for personal e-mail -- not that I see Crackberry addicts swapping their handsets for Peek's hardware any time soon. But even the casual market can turn to devices like Palm's Centro, which after rebates will cost the same as the $99.95 Peek. Is there a market for this? Admittedly, I am jumping on it early without knowing the specs. If it's a hackable OS that could be jury-rigged to be an Internet browser/e-mail device over 3G networks, I might give it more of a chance. As it stands, it seems pointless.
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