Thursday, August 08, 2002 - Personal Technology: Danger's Sidekick Puts Phone, Net, Camera in One for $199 Bad news for Handspring and RIM: Walt likes T-Mobile Sidekick more. "One of the problems with all the exciting new hand-held wireless devices on the market is that they cost a lot to buy and use. They are often aimed at corporate customers, and so carry hefty price tags and steep monthly fees for phone, e-mail and Web-surfing services.
But by sometime in October, you'll be able to buy a very capable, breakthrough wireless device that will change all that. The new T-Mobile Sidekick looks nothing like the other wireless hand-helds on the market, and costs far less -- $199 after a rebate, compared with $350 to $800 for BlackBerries, Treos, Pocket PCs and Nokia 9290s. It's aimed squarely at consumers, not corporations.
With consumers in mind, the monthly fee for the Sidekick will be just $39.99 for unlimited data usage over a high-speed, always-on GPRS network. That's all the Web surfing, e-mail, and instant messaging you want. No separate Internet service is needed. That rate also includes 200 minutes of voice calling using the Sidekick's built-in phone. Those minutes can be used anytime during the week, and long-distance is free. You also get 1,000 free weekend minutes.
The Sidekick is a well-designed, very usable gadget that looks like nothing else on the market and that is packed with clever features. It was created by Danger Inc., an upstart Silicon Valley firm staffed with veterans of Apple, General Magic and other innovative companies. It will be sold by VoiceStream, the cellular carrier that's changing its name to T-Mobile."
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