T-Mobile shutting down Sidekick service, is anyone left to care?

T-Mobile will be shutting down their Danger service that powers the Sidekick wireless syncing on 31 May, but I am left wondering how many people are even still using these with today's modern smartphones.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

In late 2009 Sidekick owners lost all of their data and were given $100 credit for their troubles. It has been a couple of years since a new Sidekick device was launched with the Sidekick LX 2009 being the last model. My daughter gave up when he LX 2009 died a few months ago and last night T-Mobile sent out a note that they would be shutting down the Danger service used by Sidekick customers on 31 May 2011.

T-Mobile issued the following statement:

After May 31, 2011, the Danger Service (a subsidiary of Microsoft) used by T-Mobile Sidekick customers for data services will no longer be available on Sidekick devices.

T-Mobile will provide offers for our Sidekick customers before May 31, 2011, to help make an easy transition from their existing Sidekick device to a new device. We will have more information to share about these offers with our customers in the weeks ahead.

To ensure the best possible transition for our loyal Sidekick customers, an enhanced Web tool is available on myT-Mobile.com to easily export their personal data, including contacts, photos, calendar, notes, to-do lists, and bookmarks, from the Danger service to a new device, computer, or a designated e-mail account. An application is also available in the Sidekick Catalog to make it easy to export personal data to the Sidekick’s memory card. Many T-Mobile stores can transfer data from that card to a new T-Mobile device if the customer brings in the memory card and Sidekick.

My daughter was a die hard Sidekick fan and had three different models over a couple year period. However, she is now more than satisfied with using text messaging, including Facebook through text, and browsing via a WiFi connection and doesn't even miss her Sidekick. T-Mobile may be launching a Sidekick-branded Android device soon that may appeal to those who like the form factor.

At this point, I have to wonder how many people this will really effect (I asked T-Mobile for the current Sidekick subscriber numbers) and think this is just another change in the evolution of the smartphone that will have little impact on the consumer.

After reading my post, it sounded a bit harsh and seemed to indicate the Sidekick was junk. The original T-Mobile Sidekick was actually my first data-enabled device and I loved it because it handled cloud sync years before this was even thought of by anyone else. The data plan was reasonable, the QWERTY keyboard was good, and the Sidekick brought wireless updates and more to T-Mobile. Many eventual smartphone manufacturers learned a great deal from the Sidekick and T-Mobile had many loyal Sidekick owners who were passionate about the device and service. It was a unique T-Mobile experience and served well in its time. As you can see in the statement, T-Mobile is going to give some special offers to existing Sidekick users as a way to thank them for their loyalty and support.

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