T-Mobile Finally Kills Off The Sidekick

from the say-a-little-prayer dept

The first ever smartphone that got me excited about what smartphones could do was the T-Mobile Sidekick, made by the company Danger, which was amazingly hyped up for a time in Silicon Valley. It remains the only phone that I ever bought the day that it came out (even though I didn’t really use it as a phone, but as a portable email/internet device). Danger made some big mistakes early on, such as taking a pretty big investment from T-Mobile, which meant that no other carriers had any interest in carrying the phone (why help a competitor?) in the US. That really hurt the company’s ability to grow. The company also had a really dreadful developer strategy — initially launching without an SDK for outside developers, and then remaining an extremely closed system that pissed off many developers, and simply made many developers ignore the platform.

In 2007, after the Sidekick had long fallen off the map, and after the initial iPhone had already hit the market, Danger announced plans to IPO, but with financials that were anything but appealing. Microsoft stepped in and bought the company instead, probably more for the (remaining) talent than anything else. A year later, there was a massive server failure, that caused a bunch of people to lose data. It became clear that the platform was really on its last legs.

And, now, finally, T-Mobile is putting it out of its misery and will be shutting off service to its Sidekick servers. If you don’t remember (or never knew), the way the Sidekick worked was everything had to go through special Sidekick/Danger servers hosted by your ISP (in some ways similar to the way Blackberries work). So, without those servers, the few remaining Sidekicks become even more useless. Somewhere, buried in a box, I’m pretty sure I still have my original (black and white!) Sidekick. I might just have to put it on my desk as a reminder of how quickly technology changes.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: danger, microsoft, t-mobile

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Comments on “T-Mobile Finally Kills Off The Sidekick”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mike....

For those that are confused, I believe that I should just point out that this site has a (semi?) automatic article posting mechanism. Also, crystal ball wielders have the ability to see the finished article one hour (or something) before it actually becomes public (among other benefits), which means that this article probably went live at ~11pm.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Mike....

It should also be pointed out that Mike is actually an android pod person who does not sleep, but rather shuts down to replenish his multi-core nuclear power cell unit, all in order to revisit us later and further destroy American democracy, puppies, pregnant nuns, and apple pie.

Or maybe that original commenter was just an idiot.

You decide….

Rabbit80 says:

This is why..

This is why I will not buy products that rely on external servers in order to keep functioning. It doesn’t matter if it is DRM, or function – if there is an alternative to having to talk to a third party server I will take it. Therefore I will not buy iPhone or Blackberry, I will not buy games that require an internet connection and I will not buy any product that can be turned off or crippled remotely!

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