TwitterPeek, the mobile, Twitter-only device that offered no contract unlimited tweeting, has been killed off. Peek, the company that makes the handset, have decided to scrap the product, which was only available in the US, because it’s “seriously old” and the service only has a “handful of users”.
TwitterPeek was launched in 2009, and those “handful of users” aren’t happy, as many of them shelled out $299 for the promise of a lifetime service. Which, in this case, added up to about 28 months.
(Which seems about right in internet years.)
Peek previously had some success with the Pronto, an email-only device which was a sort of bare bones rival to the Blackberry. Like most companies who build vanilla products, the anticipation of a huge, no frills-seeking audience seems very probable on paper, but never seems able to deliver much of a long tail in reality. The TwitterPeek, which attempted to simplify an already simple service in Twitter, was unlikely to ever be able to compete with the modern smartphone, which has rapidly integrated itself into everyday life. And even bog-standard mobile phone users want to be able to make calls. Who wants to carry around two handsets?
Peek eventually came to their senses, pulled the plug on January 30th, 2012, and TwitterPeek, which ran on the T-Mobile network, has now gone dark. And at least twelve people are now very angry indeed.
Quite rightly, too: the offer of a lifetime service should mean exactly that. That’s what you’ve paid for, after all, so the least you should expect is some kind of a refund. But that doesn’t appear to be forthcoming from Peek, who are now going to focus on software-only cloud solutions, rather than handsets.
CEO Amol Sarva has released the following statement.
“Unfortunately we cannot maintain the network forever for a few users, so that end time has come. The networks are changing standards, protocols etc and the old units are now end of life. We have lots going with rapid adoption of our software by phone brands around the world, so Peek is flat out building for a number of platforms that our OEM customers are deploying like Android and Mediatek. We are not offering a Peek-made device to replace these old ones.”
At the time of writing TwitterPeek is still available for purchase on Amazon at $199.95, and still promising lifetime service. Hey: at least you’re saving a hundred bucks.