I generally try not to rant over stupid shit these days, because let’s face it, the purgatory that is passing for my life these days is way more important than anything the internet could serve up. So I have let go things like stupid troll comments, annoying Twitter people, and a host of other things that have might once been cause for a post or three. Real life has a tendancy of putting things in perspective that way.
I got an email just now that rubbed me the wrong way. PR pitches are always fun, because like the proverbial box of chocolates, you just never know what you’ll get. For once though, it wasn’t the pitch that got my dander up, but the product. Well, a little of both.
Confuzzled? Let me explain.
Six Apart’s publisher development group contacted me for the opportunity to try out a product called the Peek. I’ve seen these in Target, and thought the premise was ok- a little handheld unit that looks similar to a Blackberry, but strictly handles email. My Mogul does this, so it pretty much fell off my radar as one of those cute-but-useless gadgets I’d never buy. Until I got the email, offering me one to test out. Free is free, so I thought it might be worth trying, right? Besides, as the email said, it seems like a perfect match for me! (Famous last words…)
Then I started looking at the device a little more carefully.
The Peek does email and..umm..email. That’s it. No IM, no web surfing, no calendar, no..well.. anything.
5 years ago this might have been exciting. After all, it’s small, and cute, and you can keep it next to the remote and get your email wherever you happen to be. But in the age of iPhones, smartphones and Blackberrys, such lack of functionality isn’t exciting. It isn’t even all that interesting.
But hey, I haven’t even seen the thing, so I’m probably being a bit harsh. After all, unlike the Blackberry, you don’t have to worry about those pesky data plans, right?
This thing does run off of your own wifi connection…right?
It doesn’t take a crystal ball or a deck of tarot cards to see the nail in the coffin for this product, which is what they rather stupidly try to push as a selling point!
Instead of using your own wifi connection or one of the umpteen-billion hotspots in the world, you have to pay $20 a month for the Peek service, which is provided by T-Mobile.
$20 a month for nothing. but. email.
Here’s the real kicker IMO. That email being served up through T-Mobile’s network? A quick glance at the T-Mobile website shows they charge users $24.99 a month for data plans, only with them and on your phone you get that same email, plus unlimited web browsing, unlimited picture messaging, unlimited IM, plus 400 text messages a month.
$24.99 a month for all that data, or $20 a month for..umm..email.
Anyone else starting to see the absurdity in this?
I realize Peek is aiming at a particular market here, namely those not bright enough to realize that you can do way more on the phone you already own (I’d venture to guess 80+% of phones in use right now support email and web usage). And hey, that’s great, everyone needs to make a buck.
Truthfully, I probably wouldn’t have even gotten my dander up over this had I not seen these words on their website-
“Moms love Peek.”
As a mother, let me tell you exactly what moms DO love.
Moms love saving money.
Moms love products that save us time, and simplify our lives.
Moms love trying new things that help us stay organized.
As far as I can see, the Peek offers none of these, and the assumption that moms are so braindead that we would waste our money on something that most of us can get for free or cheap on the phone we already own (instead of carrying two devices!) is quite frankly not something I care to take a ‘Peek’ at.