It's all unconfirmed right now, but according to a new tipster over at BGR T-Mobile are preparing to phase out Sidekick availability in the US. The source - so far uncorroborated - reckons that the arrival of the T-Mobile myTouch Slide will coincide with the Sidekick being slowly removed from sale.
Whether you're a Windows Mobile lover or not, one thing most people can agree with is that Microsoft really need to pull their finger out if they don't want to see their smartphone business slide away. We've already heard rumors that the company plans to bring Windows Mobile 6.6 to Mobile World Congress 2010, as well as talk of Windows Mobile 7 making its debut, but now there's speculation that in fact an altogether different device could appear. Engadget have been sniffing out Twitter messages and compiling a list of those posted "from Danger".
T-Mobile USA have announced that they've once again started selling Sidekick handsets, having taken the messaging-centric devices off the market during significant data outages last month. Both the Sidekick LX 2009 and the Sidekick 2008 will be available, each with new pricing: $149.99 for the former and $49.99 for the latter, assuming a new, two-year agreement.
Sidekick owners, you can stop mentally-spending that $100 gift-card T-Mobile promised. In a new statement updated to the Sidekick forums, Microsoft's Roz Ho - VP of premium mobile experiences - has confirmed that the company has recovered "most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage." She also confirms that the restored files will begin to feed back into devices starting with contacts; reports yesterday suggested that the process had already happened.
After admitting that they could have lost every scrap of Sidekick users' online data, T-Mobile USA are now following up on their promise of "additional measures" to make it up to affected customers. The carrier is now more hopeful of restoring lost data than it was at the weekend - when it described the likelihood of recovery as "extremely low" - but any user facing a loss will automatically get a $100 T-Mobile gift card.
It's been a weekend of pain for Sidekick owners, with last week's data outage ironically only the first step in an escalating catalog of mis-management by Microsoft, T-Mobile USA and the Danger team. On Saturday, an official statement was posted to the T-Mobile Sidekick forum, advising users that personal data stored on their servers and not on the handset itself "has almost certainly been lost", together with the ominous advice that Sidekick handsets shouldn't be turned off, run down or reset.
Check out the official statement after the cut
After mediocre feedback to the leaked Microsoft Pink handsets, Turtle and Pure, now comes word from inside the project itself that the whole house of cards may be close to tumbling. An ex-team member has been talking to Apple Insider about the Pink "skunkworks" project and its mismanagement, including attempting to develop too many SKUs simultaneously, potentially misleading hardware and carrier partners, and in the process pulling the rug out from the already-ailing Windows Mobile. In fact, he reckons the Pink project is "near death and probably will be canceled".
There are few things worse for users of a smartphone than having a data outage that prevents you from using the basic functionality of a device. This is exactly where T-Mobile Sidekick users found themselves over the weekend as a data outage has plagued users of Sidekick devices, and continues to do so.