Find the best App Developers and Mobile Technology Specialists to expand your mobile presence.
Welcome Guest | Sign In

Can One-Trick Pony Peek Find Its Clique?

By Chris Maxcer
Sep 11, 2008 12:03 PM PT

A small startup company, Peek, has introduced a new gadget -- or, perhaps, an antigadget -- called, not surprisingly, "Peek." It's basically a mobile handheld e-mail reader. And that's all it's for -- reading and sending e-mail.

Can One-Trick Pony Peek Find Its Clique?

No, seriously, it is a brand-new device, and it does just one thing: e-mail.

In an age of smartphones, mini laptops, netbooks, tablets, and genre-busting devices like the iPod touch, the Peek is an anomaly. It comes with a 2.5-inch 320-by-240 pixel color screen, a QWERTY thumb-pad keyboard, and a scroll wheel on the side. It comes in three colors -- charcoal gray, aqua blue, and black cherry. It's 4 inches by 2.7 inches by .4 inches and weighs only 3.8 ounces. According to the manufacturer, it has a battery that lasts 4 to 5 days ... depending on the volume of e-mail a user gets.

It costs US$99.95 with a $19.95 per month service charge and can handle up to three e-mail accounts, which can be based on popular Hotmail, Yahoo, or Gmail-type services. All of the e-mails are delivered to the inbox on the main screen, but reply-to, etc, is retained with each account.

Oh, it also comes with a carrying case and an AC charger.

Who's This For?

The Peek is positioned for people who don't want to mess with complicated or expensive smartphone or related devices -- or their hefty monthly data service plans. While most tech lovers tend to get excited about the all-in-one devices that surf the Web, play music, play videos, have games, and, oh yeah, allow phone calls, Peek clearly believes there are people out there who just want a simple device that performs a function -- and does it well.

"The idea that you could have a better e-mail experience is clear," Roger Kay, principal analyst of Endpoint Technologies, told TechNewsWorld.

"And I do get the impression that single-purpose devices have a place in the market -- it depends how expensive they are. It's a low, consumer-friendly price point for both the device and the service, and some class of users will find this attractive. I'm not sure they'll be a huge success -- if it's 20,000 people, I'm not sure Peek could stay in business," he explained.

"But if that class of users turns out to be 5 million, it could be very interesting," he added.

Reducing the Sting of a Lost or Broken Gadget

Another key aspect Kay believes Peek has going for it: no single point of failure. For example, if an expensive, multi-featured smartphone breaks or goes missing, the consumer is usually stuck: no phone, no e-mail, no Web surfing, and they'll face a big sticker price to pick up a new device -- even bigger if the buyer isn't yet far enough along in a contract to get a new-phone discount for re-upping. A solid, single-purpose device can lower the risk associated with product failure, theft or repeated drops on concrete sidewalks.

Peek utilizes a nationwide network service -- reportedly T-Mobile. The service is all-inclusive via Peek, though, which doesn't require credit checks, contracts or activation fees.

Is there an e-mail limit? Nope. There's no special service tiers, just unlimited e-mail for $19.95 a month.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ RSS
What is the most consequential impact of social media on society today?
It has opened up valuable new channels for civil discourse.
It has destroyed the meaning of "truth" and "fact."
It has made people stronger by facilitating grass roots activism.
It has deepened divisions among groups with opposing views.
It has made it easier for people to support and help each other.
It has made it easier for people to humiliate and hurt each other.
Content Marketing on ALL EC