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Old 02-05-2008, 08:53 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Neko2 View Post
If Danger could create an OS for other devices or get out from under Tmobile and really ramp up the feature set...
The Sidekick was solid as all heck, had the best keyboard of any smartphone and was more thought out and intuitive than the blackberry by quite a bit. The BB OS is very menu driven and the sidekick was mostly button and context driven.
It's okay, Lunkhead conceded that he knows nothing about the Sidekick. The trouble here is that T-mobile (a) owns a chunk of Danger, and (b) is by far Danger's biggest customer. And frankly, the Sidekick's feature set isn't that bad, in comparison with the BB. Anyone who looks objectively at the two devices (and the Curve is the most directly comparable model, since it is a consumer-oriented qwerty device) will see that there are a number of areas in which the Sidekick is simply superior to the BB.

1. While both devices have 64 MB of RAM, the SK has an additional 64 MB of dedicated flash for swapping, giving it much more elbow room for multi-tasking. The SK Slide has 128 MB of shared RAM, so its performance is even better.

2. The SK has no lame memory leak. And if you do reach a low memory state, the OS warns you and suggests that you empty trash folders, etc.

3. Email handling on the SK is more in conformity with normal email interfaces. There's an inbox, sent folder, trash folder, etc. You can direct mail from various accounts to different folders in the email app. In the newer models you can assign the accounts to tabs. Mail in the trash folder can be automatically emptied each night. If you're on a plane or somewhere else with no wireless service, you can write and send emails, and they stay queued up until you have service again, at which time they send automatically. You can turn off collection of POP mail from the device itself, without having to go to a web site on a desktop machine. So if, for example, you're in the US and going into Canada and don't want to pay data roaming charges on all email accounts, you can just turn off the ones you don't need. You can edit quoted text in email replies, and the email app is smart about inserting the '>'s correctly. You can attach multiple photos to an email without having to repeat the entire "attach file" dialog each time. The Curve has, as far as I can tell, just three points of superiority in email. The first is you can have more accounts. For some people, this is important. The second is, you can sync mail deletion from the device. I find this to be a huge convenience. The third is the overall reliability of the mail service. For a long time, I found the Sidekick's email service to be rock solid, but that changed in the last year, and that's why I eventually switched.

4. As you said, the Sidekick's OS is more intuitive, and more flexible. It gives the user the choice of using menu-scroll-select or just a hotkey, in most cases. It's consistent. MENU-N will open a new email in the email app, a new note in the Notes app, a new calendar entry in the Calendar app, a new Address Book entry, etc.

In terms of 3rd-party apps, the BB clearly has more going for it, although it's interesting that some of the Sidekick's "toy" apps, such as Art Palette Pro would probably be of interest to a lot of BB users.

But my guess (and that's all it is) is that T-mobile sees the Sidekick line as a cash cow. The Sidekick data plan is $20/month, and they throw in unlimited SMS. I don't know how much they pay Danger, but when Danger went public in November, they stated that they've lost money every year since they started. Not only that, they've gone deeper into red ink, so that they were $11 million in the hole last year. The IPO was to raise cash, a good chunk of which was to pay off loans. The way I see it, T-mobile wants to run the Sidekick line on the cheap, and if the email service gets dodgy because Danger's servers can't handle the load, well no big deal.
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