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Summary:

For those who thought its email-only device targeted too broad a market, Peek Inc. has gone even more niche — and more absurd — with the first mobile device dedicated entirely to Twitter. TwitterPeek, as the gadget is branded, enables users to read and send tweets, […]

twitter-bird1For those who thought its email-only device targeted too broad a market, Peek Inc. has gone even more niche — and more absurd — with the first mobile device dedicated entirely to Twitter. TwitterPeek, as the gadget is branded, enables users to read and send tweets, reply, retweet and send direct messages on the go. The device sells for $99 plus an $8 monthly fee or $200 for a lifetime of service.

The problem, of course, is that plenty of phones at that price point and below integrate Twitter services very well (and Twitter’s novelty factor may be wearing thin anyway). Twitter apps are available on $99 smartphones such as the iPhone 3G and Palm Pre, and even cut-rate feature phones can handle basic Twitter functions. But the most laughable thing about the TwitterPeek is the thought that users somehow need a dedicated device for every social networking site or mobile Internet app. It’s akin to having one television on which to watch sports, a second for movies and a third for sitcoms. Oh, and paying separate cable subscriptions for each TV.

That’s not to say there’s no room for dedicated devices in the era of the superphone. The success of the Kindle has demonstrated that users are still willing to pay a premium for a device that’s built for the consumption of a specific kind of content, and — as my colleague Kevin C. Tofel has pointed out — we’re likely to see a wave of new dedicated devices as connectivity moves beyond phones and laptops into a variety of consumer electronics products. But one of Twitter’s key qualities is its ease of use from almost any connected device, from PCs to cutting-edge smartphones to antiquated feature phones. So asking users to pay $100 plus a monthly fee for a Twitter-optimized gadget seems like a dead-end (and downright silly) strategy.

What do you think?

  1. I _might_ buy a Twitter-only device if only said device is more than powerful enough to handle all the perks that come with Twitter. From what I read this device lacks everything, from seeing another account’s tweets other than from my timeline, no picture support except for Twitpic, no camera either, no simple browser to handle all those links, no search(!)

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    1. Or you could buy this and perhaps the limitations will force you to waste less time on Twitter. Even better, someone should start selling a Twitter device without a network connection. I’d buy one for my wife just to shut her up. “7.15am : Making pancakes!. 7.23am: Eating pancakes! Yay I can cook!. 7.34am Washing dishes and getting the kids ready, yay I am supermom today! 7.56am Hubby still in bed!” Damn right I’m still in bed so I don’t have to listen to this stream of horse manure.

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  2. We had a good laugh about this one in the office. My boss said he would put his next to his Cuecat.

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  3. I say its a waste of money time and effort to make this device eventually it will end up like the ATT device they made almost 4 or 5 years ago when it was allowing you to be on aim and yahoo and check your emails for i think about 25 dollars a month, not worth it at all actually you couldn’t browse the net or upload or dowlnload pictures pointless…

    Waste…

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  4. I prefer to keep more of an open mind regarding this device. If Twitter really is SO important, then why not try and serve the Twitter market?

    “Twitter apps are available on $99 smartphones such as the iPhone 3G and Palm Pre,”

    We all know that a $99 Smart Phone isn’t REALLY just $99 (not to mention that the Palm Pre is $249 before $100 rebate (Sprint) or instant discount (Best Buy) |= $99) because you have to pay high monthly fees. Sure, many people (probably most people reading websites like this) find that worth the $$, it definitely isn’t a direct comparison.

    While I know that Peek’s products aren’t for me, I find them quite interesting and am curious to see how they do.

    The more I think about it, the stranger you bashing seems to me. It’s not like they built a product around an esoteric service that no one has heard of.

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  5. This could be useful in the business world so that they could have employees monitor twitter while away from the desk.

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  6. This would be really cool if it had a camera.

    Oh, and it’d be cool if I could also make and receive calls.

    get on it, Peek!

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  7. stewart mercer Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Is it hackable? Could you run the Linux port of Skype on it? $200 dollars for a lifetime of coverage? maybe it’s not such a crazy offering when you consider what the open source/hacking community *could* do with such a device and lifetime coverage for $200? There’s possibly an entirely new ‘app store’ phenomenon here ?

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  8. The first time I saw it I thought about a 2 way pager but like others have stated, if Twitter is that big of a deal for some people then $200.00 for a lifetime isn’t bad.

    No web browsing is a big turn off though and what network does this device work on?

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  9. [...] Read the rest of this post on the original site Tagged: Internet, Twitter, Voices, digital, hardware, innovation, mobile, Colin Gibbs, GigaOm, Peek, Twitter | permalink Sphere.Inline.search(“”, “http://voices.allthingsd.com/20091104/really-peek-we-need-a-dedicated-twitter-device/”); « Previous Post ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000; document.write(''); [...]

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  10. What’s the point? Next there’ll be a dedicated Facebook device…

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