Will The Sidekick 4G Disappoint?

Let me preface this by saying I don’t want this to be about whether or not Android is good or bad, old or new or anything in between.  The question I wish to pose (among others) is whether or not Android is the right fit for the upcoming Sidekick 4G.  Along with that, will customers come back to the Sidekick brand when the last thing they remember about Sidekick is an overwhelming story regarding data loss?

The “Sidekick” line is, dare I say, an iconic brand in the wireless world.  It broke ground on any number of factors, most notably form factor.  While the Sidekick line didn’t start the spring loaded slide up screen, it certainly did its part to popularize it.  The Sidekick line was one of the only cellphone models to have personalized sponsors with the likes of Tony Hawk and Dwayne Wade.  This is a name that conjures up images of Paris Hilton walking down the red carpet and athletes pounding away on the Sidekick keyboard in anything from commercials to People magazine images.  There is a lot for T-Mobile to live up to with the release of the Sidekick 4G and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

So let’s come right to the meat of this.  Why would it disappoint?  Well, I believe that Android, however you slice it, is a step in the opposite direction of its predecessor Sidekicks.  Part of the allure was the specialized OS that was unique to the Sidekick brand and made for a unique user experience.  This was part of the reason Sidekicks were so popular, because using them was a unique experience in almost every way.  While I will be the first to admit I don’t know anything about the form factor or the possible variations of Android we could see running on this device, it’s still Android and Android is everywhere. There is nothing really unique about Android at this point.  You can skin it, hack it and personalize it, but at the end of the day it’s still Android.  That’s not a bad thing; it’s just not a unique thing.  The same could be said if the Sidekick ran iOS, webOS or Windows Phone 7.  It still wouldn’t be unique.

The Sidekick will likely sell because it’s a name people remember and some will purchase simply because they have fond memories of the previous models.  On the flipside, the Sidekick brand took what some might have considered to be a death blow during the October 2009 data loss.  This led to T-Mobile halting sales and the eventual class action lawsuit which was only recently settled.  The Sidekick line took a serious hit in the public realm and even some of the most stringent Sidekick supporters moved on to other platforms.

As I look at the above image of the Sidekick 4G (which could EASILY be a placeholder and not at all what the actual device looks like) I see a typical looking slider.  A gain, I wonder and I  write this without all the facts given that almost no information on the phone is known.  However, I wonder how T-Mobile will differentiate this device?  Relying on the Sidekick name alone would have been great and almost marketed itself, but the last memory of many Sidekick users or  possible future users was a data loss that made national headlines.

So while any conclusion about the possibility of Sidekick 4G sales is premature, I still have reservations and tempered hopes about how successful it will truly be.  I hope, no, I wish for a revival in the Sidekick line because it was just so iconic for what it is, even if the form factor wasn’t your cup of tea.  A successful launch could be a huge win for T-Mobile and the Sidekick line overall, but anything else could lead to the final resting place for the Sidekick brand.  I hope I can speak for many Magenta faithful when I say we just don’t want it coming to that.

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  • Carudyy

    How I change my “G2″ for a sidekick??
    I need a brake of this site!!!! Lol…sidekick…oh my lord..

  • Anonymous

    Just make it sexy with sexy specs, make it as far away from the original sidekicks as possible. They were all garbage anyway and the only ones you see being used today are by the deaf community.

  • KeaWai

    I can’t believe Samsung might be the one doing it I hope not with their long list and consistent unfulfilled promises. Leave it to HTC but definitely no sense…please no sense!

  • Tom A.

    I think T-Mobile needs a new qwerty feature phone. I may be wrong, but the Comeback is their newest and that came out in July 2009. While I would like to get a Sidekick 4G, I don’t really need a smart phone/want to pay for data.

  • Tom A.

    I think T-Mobile needs a new qwerty feature phone. I may be wrong, but the Comeback is their newest and that came out in July 2009. While I would like to get a Sidekick 4G, I don’t really need a smart phone/want to pay for data.

  • http://twitter.com/KunningLingwist glen greezy

    I usually dont comment on posts here, but this is one of the most POORLY WRITTEN “articles” I have ever read on a tech site. The writer types a lot, but doesnt really say anything…

    Is rehashing the name “Sidekick” a risk due to it crashing and burning not even 2 years prior? YES!
    Is that a reason to not use the name? NO!
    My fondest memories of cellphones involve my Sidekick. If they can absolutely NAIL the hardware execution of the phone i am sure it will be a success. You can do pretty much anything you want w/ the android platform, so i am not worried in the slightest that the phone will be unique and HIGHLY functional, and w/ 4g and a FFC, I am pretty sure it will be a certified HIT again.

    (Lets just keep the middle man out of the mix. Danger was the Sidekicks best friend, but the Danger servers were also their worst enemy… Lets just have it go online like a normal phone and skip the extra step… #thanks)

  • dj

    @authur Are you idiot sk was smartphone before ipod nano was made in 05 same yr blackberry became smartphone. Iphone wasn’t invented until june 2007. Sidekick was release in 2002 . It catalog app way before copied them with app store.

    • dj

      I meant apple copied app store from sidekick danger os catalog app store. Gaming apps came from playstation home.

    • dj

      I meant apple copied app store from sidekick danger os catalog app store. Gaming apps came from playstation home.

  • Jajohns

    I held on tightly to my original color sidekick, and bought a second one used on EBay,even. I’m now using the Sidekick ’08-it did not get powered off during the data loss “event” and I never lost any data. l will probably run this phone until it gives up or out. I don’t need all of the features of the new Androids, etc; but I know I’ll have to upgrade this phone. I’m shopping until then for what will be current then. Right now there are many phones hitting the market, and I will certainly consider the latest release of the Sidekick when shopping. It is pretty neat when people see the screen flip around and ask what kind of phone I have :)

  • Really, no 4g

    Yes!

  • Jpassinetti1977

    i have to agree I was wondering what would they do to make the sidekick stand out over other android phones what would be its thing other than its a side kick. I got my sidekick and loved it because of personal email that you don’t get with any other phone an the fact i could make it my own. but it seems that is the standard with iphones and other smart phones. Lets hope tmobile was smart and took that into account when remaking this and not just took the name side kick and slapped it on a normal andriod phone

  • Jpassinetti1977

    i have to agree I was wondering what would they do to make the sidekick stand out over other android phones what would be its thing other than its a side kick. I got my sidekick and loved it because of personal email that you don’t get with any other phone an the fact i could make it my own. but it seems that is the standard with iphones and other smart phones. Lets hope tmobile was smart and took that into account when remaking this and not just took the name side kick and slapped it on a normal andriod phone

  • Krazkid116

    now this might be a dumb question but does any1 know if its going to be a touch screen?

  • Krazkid116

    now this might be a dumb question but does any1 know if its going to be a touch screen?

  • Krazkid116

    now this might be a dumb question but does any1 know if its going to be a touch screen?

  • Bbybella86

    I’m looking forward to this but it better have flash if not major disappoint I won’t buy it!

  • Bbybella86

    I’m looking forward to this but it better have flash if not major disappoint I won’t buy it!

  • Bbybella86

    I’m looking forward to this but it better have flash if not major disappoint I won’t buy it!

  • Song3471

    I red that it will have a touch screen and will support flash as well. I haven’t been able to find a phone to live up to my Sidekick (just because of the keyboard size), so I’m looking forward to it

  • Hiptop3

    great