November 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm #84653
New mobile device does Twitter and only Twitter
The Twitter Peek, which debuts on Amazon.com today, flies in the face of the “everything-and-every-app-you’ll-ever-need-in-your-life” marketing used to promote today’s smart phones.
This hand held device does Twitter and nothing but Twitter. The question is are there enough people out there who will shell out as much as $199 for a one-trick pony?
Executives at Peek Inc. of New York aren’t betting on the tech-savvy crowd. Rather, they believe the Twitter Peak will interest customers who own simple, inexpensive cell phones, yet still want to read their Twitter news updates and other tweets away from the desktop.
“Twitter’s more useful on a mobile device,” said Peek founder and CEO Amol Sarva.
You might remember Peek’s first products introduced last year – the Peek Classic, which just does e-mail and costs $19.95, and the $59.95 Peek Pronto, which accesses up to five e-mail accounts and can send and receive text messages. Each requires a wireless service plans that start at $15 per month.
Unlike the earlier Peaks, named one of Time Magazine’s Gadgets of the Year, the Twitter Peak doesn’t do e-mail or texting.
I’ve been testing a demo model for the past week and it does its one-and-only job well enough – it provided an easy way to read my Twitter feeds. On the device, I learned that Mayor Gavin Newsom dropped out of the governor’s race, that the Giants hired a new hitting coach named Bam Bam and that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone saw a spider outside his window.
It looks like an older Blackberry and comes in a Twitter-style aqua blue or charcoal gray. Fittingly, it can chirp when a tweet arrives.
The display lists the start of each message and who it’s from, and you click a scroll wheel on the side to view the entire 140-character tweet.
Handy keyboard shortcuts let you jump from one message to the next or start a new tweet. And one new feature rolled out last week gives you the ability to view links. One minor quibble: I found having to double-click on the side scroll wheel to view a tweet clumsy.
At launch, the Twitter Peak costs $99 for six months, which includes the monthly wireless data service through T-Mobile, and $7.95 per month afterward, with no service contract. Or you can fork over a one-time $199 payment that includes wireless service for the lifetime of the device.
Is it a better experience than something like a Twitter-specific app on an iPhone? No. But Sarva says that’s not the point. He argues that not everyone wants to spend $100 to $300 for a smart phone and another $30 each month or so for a data plan.
From that point of view, he calls it “the better way to Twitter.”
I’m still not convinced there’s going to be a big market for the Twitter Peak because people who opt for a cell phone that only makes calls probably aren’t going to be hooked on Twitter enough to want to buy and carry another single-purpose device.
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November 3, 2009 at 7:05 pm #84663
You have got to be joking …
November 3, 2009 at 7:19 pm #84661
Ludo Van VoorenParticipant
This is an interesting device that, although not necessarily usefull on its own, could be expanded through third party services. Here are three ideas:
1) Tweet to Text service. Imagine a service that would respond to “@tweet2SMS *Bruno text message” by sending the message as an SMS to Bruno who’s cell number I stored privately on the tweet2SMS website. bruno can then respond to my SMS by starting his text message with @ludozone.
2) FBcontrol service. Updating my status could be as easy as “@FBcontrol Heading out to the Caps Game”. I could also get FB notifications as DMs. All configurations would be through a private FB app.
3) Alerts Central Service. Expanding on the previous idea, a service that DMs me when I get an email from my boss, when the outdoor temperature dips below freezing, or when the airfare to Miami I am hoping for becomes available. All the alerts would be customizable on a website. Yes, I would still need to access the web somewhere, but I probably have a computer at home or at the office.
I think that all of these technologies are just that: technologies. We are very quickly moving into a world when the technology becomes irrelevant and the type of communication automatically designates the platform that is used (e.g. private message, public message, interactive session, etc…). Google Wave is the first real example of that idea. Maybe a Wave Tweak is what we need?
November 3, 2009 at 7:30 pm #84659
I don’t see anyone buying a one trick poney in this day and age.
November 3, 2009 at 8:02 pm #84657
People who already have a low-end cell phone want to expand their web 2.0 world so they will go out and buy a blackberry for email and now this. NOT everyone wants to, or can drop their wireless provider and UNTIL/IF Apple makes the Iphone more universally available OR the competition (look at the DROID or Palm Pre ) catches up suspect that there will be a significant amount of single purpose machines out there
November 3, 2009 at 9:16 pm #84655
David K. ShepherdParticipant
I’d say this things has already ‘Peaked’. Pun intended.
About the time they convince someone to fund the idea…
I wish them luck, but not sure how this is gonna be a great seller.
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