Danger, AOL Tighten Relationship
Amidst some very speculative rumors that T-Mobile is dropping the Danger device (branded as the Sidekick) from their offerings, comes the news that Danger and AOL are strengthening their relationship, so that Danger device users will be able to access AOL emails in addition to carrier supplied email addresses and any pop3 addresses they currently use. T-Mobile dropping the Sidekick seems a bit unlikely at this point, and would be a huge surprise. I’d bet the shortages are more likely due to (as has been reported earlier) emptying them off the shelves at blowout prices in order to clear the decks for the color device launch – which is now being rumored to be sooner, rather than later. Danger made a few other announcements today, which evoked less media attention. First, they announced their “second” US carrier: Triton PCS – not quite the major player we’d hoped for, but it’s a small step forward out of the T-Mobile shadow. Triton provides service on AT&T Wireless’s network in the southeast. More importantly, is the news that they’ve finally (and why, oh why, did it take this long?) released the SDK for the device – meaning that outside developers finally get their chance to create apps for the device. Frankly, I’m still confused why Danger didn’t make sure to release the SDK from the very beginning. The early success (and continued relevance) of Palm’s OS hinged on the strong developer community, and you would think that Danger would aim for the same sort of developer fanaticism – which, in turn, would provide more user options, and create much greater lock-in from users. As it stands now, I still use my Palm for some apps that I can’t find elsewhere, but if a competing email/web handheld came along that I found compelling enough, I’m not sure I’d stick with the Danger device. That could quickly change with a few really compelling applications. Hopefully, the release of the SDK will lead to some.