Carrier to maintain Sidekick brand
T-Mobile has confirmed that it is set to discontinue the Sidekick 4G handset, however the company plans to keep the Sidekick brand alive for future devices. The Android device, which arrived last April, represented the first Sidekick variant to pair the brand's characteristic QWERTY keyboard with a smartphone OS.
Sharp FX Plus for ATT tips up
Walmart has spoiled some of AT&T's plans by pre-announcing the Sharp FX Plus. The Android phone owes a clear debt to the Sidekick that Sharp once made and has the same concept of a slider where the display, not the body, slides out to reveal a QWERTY keyboard. Sharp keeps it simpler than the Sidekick 4G with a 3.2-inch display, a three-megapixel camera, and a mix of 512MB of internal storage with a bundled 2GB microSD card.
Skype drops execs just after Microsoft deal
Skype in the immediate aftermath of FTC approval of its deal with Microsoft has fired several executives. Don Albert, Doug Bewsher, Chris Dean, Anne Gillespie, David Gurlé, and Russ Shaw have all either left or had clear intentions to leave. Much of the focus has been on marketing and human resources executives like Albert, Bewsher, and Gillespie, but Shaw was the general manager of Skype's carrier deals and considered instrumental to getting Skype as a mainstay on smartphones.
FTC approves Microsoft's Skype takeover
The FTC on Friday said it had given approval to Microsoft's buyout of Skype. The clearance determined that the deal wouldn't create any significant anti-competitive issues. The filing didn't say whether other agencies had to close the deal, which Microsoft had only said would be approved by the end of 2011.
Device mimics Sidekick 4G, but with Sharp branding
AT&T is reportedly preparing to launch a new Android-based handset that appears to mimic the Sidekick 4G available through T-Mobile. Although the latest Sidekick is built by Samsung, the model shown in leaked images carries Sharp branding. The device appears to maintain the Sidekick's characteristic QWERTY-slider design.
Google makes Android Hardware team
Google in a low-key move has set up a hardware group dedicated solely to building hardware devices and using some of VP Andy Rubin's former Danger teammates. An Android@Home and Android Open Accessory.
T-Mobile Q1 2011 hurt by Verizon iPhone, more
T-Mobile USA warned that its situation was quickly getting worse with more subscriber losses. It shed a total of 99,000 customers in its winter quarter, more than the 77,000 from a year ago and four times the 23,000 it lost in the fall. The absolute drop was pinned on 471,000 contract subscribers exiting due to "competitive pressures."
T-Mobile Bobsled allows Facebook, mobile VoIP
T-Mobile chose Tuesday to kick off the launch of a unique VoIP calling service. Bobsled lets Facebook owners call each other over VoIP by using Facebook contact information alone instead of separate IDs. The web version of the app can leave voicemail either as a message or on a user's wall; the recipient doesn't need the app loaded in Facebook to answer.
T-Mobile dates G2X and Sidekick 4G for April 20
T-Mobile on Thursday set out ship dates and pricing for two of its halo phones for the spring. The G2X flagship is now known to cost $200 after a contract and a $50 rebate and will ship to stores on April 20, with online orders heading out on April 15. The Sidekick 4G was already priced at $100 on a contract but should head out at the same April 20 date as its fellow Android counterpart.
Microsoft mobile failure pinned on Windows pride
An investigation into Microsoft's high-profile mobile failures has blamed much of the company's poor market share on an endemic culture that resists anything not part of Windows. CEO Steve Ballmer is said to be over-proud and overprotective of the Windows legacy he inherited from Bill Gates. The company's Windows and Office teams often get first say over anything, Forbes was told, and were likened earlier by James Whittaker to a Mafia that killed Courier, Kin, or any project that would threaten Windows' internal hegemony.
T-Mobile Sidekick 4G may ship April 20
Radio Shack may have inadvertently given away T-Mobile's release timing for the Sidekick 4G through a Twitter update. The company said it would have the Android slider on April 20. While unconfirmed by T-Mobile itself, it would be consistent with rumors of device launches the same day.
We test the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G at CTIA
When T-Mobile unveiled the Sidekick 4G, fears immediately surfaced that the switch to Android killed what the now defunct Danger had done to make the Sidekick special, such as jump keys. Those concerns are certainly valid, but the carrier is counting on a custom interface and surprisingly high-end specs to make up the difference. Read on for an early take on whether they've reached that goal.
Included microSD card limited to 2GB
Samsung has reportedly confirmed that its Sidekick 4G handset, which is headed to T-Mobile, will support tethering and mobile hotspot functionality. Additional details posted by Phone Scoop also suggest users will be able to expand the 1GB of onboard memory with a microSD card, though the included microSD card only holds 2GB of data.
DriveSmart driver distraction tech a first
At the time T-Mobile announced that Danger’s servers supporting Sidekick handset cloud services are to be shut down after May 31, it advised users that it would help to make the transition to a new device smooth. It has now officially announced the new Sidekick 4G, and as suspected, the Samsung-made Android slider is now a relatively high end messaging phone. The design has the same 21Mbps 3G as the Galaxy S 4G and is the first Sidekick with a front camera.
Teaser appears to confirm several rumors
T-Mobile has launched a teaser page that focuses on the 4G version of its Sidekick handset, which will be powered by Android. The company has yet to confirm any specific details, as the marketing materials are limited to a simple website page that allows visitors to sign up for more information when it becomes available.
Samsung Sidekick 4G likely replacement
T-Mobile has issued a statement that has sounded the death knell for Danger Sidekick users. Danger was purchased by Microsoft, which ultimately resulted in the failed Microsoft Kin devices. Following the shuttering of Kin’s cloud-based services, T-Mobile has announced that Sidekick users will see their cloud-based services discontinued after May 31.
Samsung-made Sidekick 4G spotted with front cam
The T-Mobile Sidekick 4G that's been confirmed as coming by the carrier's CEO has now showed up in photos, thanks to TMoNews. The device is now known to sport a front-facing camera and will be manufactured by Samsung, idenitified by the logo on the rear of the device. The original Sidekick's slider form factor is still intact.
4G Sidekick, 4G Galaxy S due at T-Mobile: CEO
At a press event on Thursday, T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm confirmed that a Sidekick and a Samsung Galaxy S phone with HSPA+ support will arrive at the carrier soon. The Sidekick news was already covered, and both handsets will carry a 4G suffix. According to a PCMag report, the two devices will be joined by the known Dell Streak 7, T-Mobile G-Slate tablet with Android 3.0 and a USB modem capable of 42Mbps speeds in the first half of this year.
Sidekick 4G to arrive in the Spring at T-Mobile
What may be the long-awaited follow-up to the Sidekick Twist from last year, multiple rumors of a new Sidekick 4G handset from T-Mobile have surfaced. According to TMoNews, a meeting was held and some details of the handset are known. Its name, while not finalized, suggests the phone will support HSPA+ networks.
Kin One and Two reappear on Verizon roadmap
Microsoft's ill-fated Kin One and Kin Two are returning to Verizon, a leaked fall roadmap revealed tonight. Despite having sold just 8,810 phones, the phone designer is bringing the two devices back as the OneM and TwoM. PPCGeeks' copy of the roadmap would have both sold as basic feature phones and consequently dodging the $30 smartphone plan requirement widely credited for killing the popularity of the devices in their brief six-week initial run.
Microsoft CEO says Kin took from Windows Phone 7
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer in an interview characterized the Kin phones as a fundamental mistake for the company. The basic feature phones "defocused" Microsoft away from Windows Phone 7 and cut down on what Microsoft could say, the executive said to the Seattle Times. A device needed to be advanced, very concentrated or both to succeed.
T-Mobile Project Emerald is two HSPA+ phones
The latest, though still unofficial, report about what Project Emerald at T-Mobile involves has surfaced at Phandroid. Rather than the return of the Sidekick brand, an anonymous tipster says Emerald means the release of two handsets that support HSPA+. This involves the G1 Blaze, which would be a rebranded HTC Vision at T-Mobile, and the HTC Desire HD, which T-Mobile will apparently call the myTouch HD or myTouch 3G HD.
AT&T gets Sharp-branded FX handset to lineup
AT&T today said it will soon ship a revival of the side-sliding phone in the the Sharp FX. Built for Sharp by PCD, the device combines both a touchscreen and a center slide-out hardware QWERTY keyboard. Similar in form and function to the popular Sidekick handsets, also Sharp-branded, the Sharp FX is meant for heavy messaging and social networking.
Leak backs Android Sidekick talk
When T-Mobile resurrects the Sidekick line after its temporary exit today, its next devices should be based on Android, tipsters said today. The carrier's US division has reputedly been working on an Android-based Sidekick "for some time." More details didn't surface from the mocoNews tip, but it's presumed the same software team that handled the myTouch 3G Slide's custom UI would write for the Sidekick.
T-Mo promises Sidekick series reboot in months
T-Mobile today said it would drop all existing Sidekick devices tomorrow, July 2. It still plans to support the Sidekick LX 2009 and 2008 but won't sell either of the devices anymore. In a statement, however, it insisted the messaging phone line wasn't going away and promised a "new and fresh experience" sometime in the "months ahead."
HTC Vision could be T-Mobile's Project Emerald
HTC's rumored Vision may have received more concrete info through a talk with an HTC representative at a Seattle event. The design could be one of HTC's fastest as it could use a dual-core 800MHz processor. It would run Android 3.0 and have a 4.3-inch screen that would use a new form of screen technology.
Sidekick generates web collections, adds mobility
Bare Bones has updated its information organizer, Yojimbo 2.2. The software stores information across numerous filetypes, like PDFs, images, web archives, rich text notes, bookmarks and both passwords and serial numbers. It uses tags, collections and labels for fast organization and also supports search, browse and Spotlight searches. It supports MobileMe for syncing multiple computers to its data. It has a quick input command for note taking and an on-screen drop box tab supporting drag and drop.
Microsoft event says it's "time to share"
Microsoft signaled its possible readiness to unveil its first self-branded phones on Monday with a teaser for an event in San Francisco. The notice obtained by Engadget doesn't mention more than that "it's time to share" but uses the same typography as seen on the Pure and likely the Turtle, hinting that the phones under the mystery Project Pink banner are almost ready to be revealed. Prior leaks have had both phones shipping April 20th for Verizon, which would line up with an introduction the week before.
HTC Espresso to become myTouch slide after all
More T-Mobile news has surfaced today as a leak has shown that the myTouch slide is real. First called the HTC Espresso, it appears to be visibly different than the original myTouch and has a click-down optical trackpad in addition to the slide-out QWERTY keyboard. An LED flash would also accompany the camera and signals that the phone will use at least Android 2.0 to support the camera lighting.
Zune 4.2 points to Microsoft-made phones
A low-key version 4.2 update for the Zune software (currently only available through the software itself) may have confirmed Microsoft's plans for phones with Zune features. The INF file that identifies hardware drivers includes three references to "Phone.DeviceDesc" alongside more conventional Zune listings; the description in turn points to just "phone" as the description. As they have to refer to actual devices and can't be falsely associated with someone else, the mentions hint at three Microsoft-branded phones that would need the support in the near future.
myTouch Slide, Pink to spell demise of Sidekicks?
An unnamed source has indicated that T-Mobile is planning on phasing out its Sidekick handsets in favor of the upcoming myTouch Slide from HTC. The unconfirmed report says the Sidekick devices will be slowly phased out, but whether the line disappears altogether is unknown. Another possibility is that Sidekick will be replaced by a new range of phones developed by the same Danger team, now owned by Microsoft. Currently rumored to be under development, the handsets are collectively known as Project Pink.
From Danger Twitter signs hint at Pink phones
A recent series of tweets signed "from Danger" and with the "#tmdp" hashtag indicate Microsoft's Pink phones are not dead in the water, as previously believed. Danger is the company behind Sidekick handsets, which was purchased by Microsoft in 2008, and Tweeting from those handsets returns a "from Danger" in the signature. The Danger tags also link to Microsoft's home page instead of Sidekick's, adding to the mystery. There is no indication of what the "#tmdp" tag means or refers to, however.
Palm online sync fails for some users
Owners of Palm's newer phones have encountered a flaw in its online backup system that has wiped out contacts and calendars. A portion of users note that backups sent to Palm's Profile cloud service from a Pre (and now Pixi) are being corrupted and blank out any synchronized data when the phone has to be reset or restored. Those without a local backup, such as through an app like Missing Sync, have no choice but to recreate the data from scratch.
Sidekick back on sale with lower price
T-Mobile today restored the Sidekick to its lineup after having pulled it for more than a month after the results of its major data outage. Both the Sidekick 2008 and the newer Sidekick LX 2009 are back on sale and have been price-cut in a bid to renew interest. The LX 2009 has dropped by $25 to $150 on a two-year plan, while the older model now costs just $50 on the same terms.
T-Mobile seeks reason for temp network failure
T-Mobile USA has said on Wednesday that it has resolved Tuesday's nationwide network outage but is still investigating the source of the problem. In a statement, the wireless provider said about five percent of its subscribers throughout the US faced service disruptions for several hours, including the inability to access the data network or make 3G phone calls.
T-Mobile sees data, voice outages
T-Mobile users tonight have been reporting a widespread outage of service across the US. Those affected are finding themselves unable to call or use data services like 3G or messaging. The exact cause of the outage isn't currently known.
MS chief talks Win Mo 7, Sidekick, Courier
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer today provided a handful of minor revelations for his company's strategy in an interview today. In his discussion with Engadget, the executive has now all but confirmed that Windows Mobile 7 will "come hard" with elements of the Zune interface; previously, the company had only made indirect allusions to the software appearing in a future update. Most anticipate the release moving the phone OS towards a more touch-friendly platform as well as to give it stronger media playback.
MS lets some Sidekick owners recover
Microsoft and T-Mobile today said they have begun restoring Sidekick data and have offered a guide for owners. The two now say they can restore contacts they might have lost that already existed on October 1st. Those Sidekick owners who created contacts to supplement or replace entries lost during the major outage can either keep both on-device and online sets, merge them or use only the set originating from the cellphone.
MS may pay multi-million fine over Sidekick
Microsoft may owe T-Mobile millions of dollars for its just-concluding Sidekick outage, an inside tip may have revealed today. Like most carriers, T-Mobile is believed to have a service level agreement (SLA) with Microsoft and Danger to guarantee uptime but may have a particularly costly deal with Microsoft. The MobileCrunch source claims that Microsoft will likely pay a rate roughly equal to $700,000 per day for the period it couldn't guarantee 99.5 percent availability of Sidekick services.
T-Mobile lets Sidekick user drop contract
(Update #2 with T-Mobile plans) T-Mobile may let Sidekick owners affected by the permanent data loss drop their contracts and move to other phones, one subscriber says today. At least one customer reports to Gizmodo that he has been offered an early exit from his contract as well as having the option of buying a T-Mobile G1 for the same $130 price new or eligible customers would pay. BlackBerries and other smartphone-class devices have also been made options.
Microsoft mistake may have cost Sidekick service
A major, avoidable error by Microsoft caused the permanent Sidekick data loss from over a week ago, sources said this weekend. Multiple tips to Hiptop3 claim that Microsoft had no backup of the Storage Area Network (SAN) used to hold Sidekick information and lost the data when Hitachi encountered a failure during an upgrade. The company may now have little choice but to start fresh and have users re-sync data from their Sidekicks once a fresh SAN is ready.
T-Mobile warns Sidekick loss permanent
T-Mobile this Saturday has issued a warning to all Sidekick owners that their online data may have been permanently lost by Danger and its parent company Microsoft. In a note to customers, the carrier says the likelihood of recovering contacts, calendars and other information taken offline by a more than week-long outage is "extremely low" due to an assessment of the server failure. Customers may lose all their information if they have to reset their sidekicks or deprive them of power, according to the note.
MS Pink and Danger team at risk
Microsoft's Pink phone project may be on the verge of falling apart even before its first product ships, according to a controversial set of leaks supposedly confirmed today. Backing a scoop from earlier in the week, a source for AppleInsider says Microsoft has poorly managed the project and squandered the acquisition of Sidekick creator Danger from 2008. Rather than implement Danger's advice, the larger company has watched the majority of the team either fired or leave in frustration as the majority of their advice is ignored.
Microsoft Pure and Turtle images
A handful of images have leaked of what are widely believed to be the first Microsoft-branded phones. The renderings slipped out by Gizmodo appear to confirm the Turtle, a vertical QWERTY slider that also appears to have a touchscreen, as well as the Pure, a more conventional touchscreen with a side-sliding keyboard. Both have a very rounded design influenced by Sidekick creator Danger, which Microsoft bought out last year, and an interface mockup that borrows heavily from the visual style of the Zune HD.
T-Mo adds Sidekick Sync
T-Mobile on Tuesday announced it has made a new Sidekick Sync application for its Sidekick LX handset, which would now support real time push e-mail, let users view attachments in said e-mails. Now available via the Download Catalog, the application will also synchronize its phonebook with a corporate directory, as well as full sync support via an Exchange calendar and its meeting and event reminders.
MS Picks Ad Firm for Pink
Microsoft has picked the ad firm that will represent its "Pink" smartphone interface, sources said Wednesday. AdWeek hears that a contract bid has been won by McCann Erickson's TAG group, trumping others. The leak doesn't include any details of what "Pink" involves but adds that McCann already handles advertising for Windows Mobile, supporting the phone connection.
AdMob Mar 2009 Phone Share
The use of the iPhone online has accelerated to where it's now outranking Symbian in terms of sheer traffic, AdMob's March 2009 metrics report shows. Tracking access worldwide based on ad requests, the firm says OS X iPhone grew to represent 38 percent of smartphone traffic and just slightly edged out all Symbian phones, which have fallen to 37 percent. Both are sharp changes from February, when Symbian held a comfortable lead at 43 percent while the iPhone had just crossed the 33 percent mark.
T-Mobile Sidekick LX 2009
T-Mobile this morning finally confirmed the existence of its 2009 update to the Sidekick LX. The new model is the first ever to support 3G and draws on HSPA to allow both faster web browsing as well as to enable video streaming directly through the browser as well as Internet radio and video uploading. GPS is also new and exploits Danger's connection to Microsoft to let users search for nearby locations (including fuel and movies) using Live Search.
T-Mobile Event April 21st
T-Mobile at mid-day announced a special event for April 21st in New York City. The company provides no other details and, unlike previous invitations, doesn't hint as to the general direction of the gathering. The last event held by the company in this manner was in September of last year, when the company introduced the G1 as the world's first Android phone.
3G Sidekick 2009 at FCC
A new handset built by Sharp has shown up for testing on the FCC website and is expected to be the previously leaked 2009 Sidekick LX. Other hints that point to this include the Danger logo being present on the FCC label, and the device's support of the 1,700MHz AWS spectrum, or the same band T-Mobile uses for its 3G network. T-Mobile is the carrier of previous Sidekick models.