Today, while web surfing, I discovered a company called Peek that markets a mobile email device–also called Peek–offering email and text messaging for around $20 per month ($80 for the device). No phone, just email and texting.
As I “peeked” around the company’s forum to see if anyone missed having a mobile device for talking, I realized how many people don’t want a cell phone. One fellow wrote:
“I’m almost phone free. Maybe around 90% of my communication is email/internet related. For business and personal, it’s so much easier to respond on my own time and to automatically have a record of what we said. My wife and I email through the day, we rarely call each other to communicate. I have some Amish clients that I need to call for work but even they are moving more into email.”
We’ve received a lot of press coverage. Time magazine acclaimed it as “best gadget of the year” in 2008. Wired, not known for drooling over less-than-cutting-edge technology, praised the device for its simplicity and functionality. Even Engadget, whose writers, editors and readers tear apart mobile devices like lions in the zoo at dinner, gave it a snobbish thumbs-up.
Running on the T-Mobile network, you’ll probably not hear from Peek users about slow data and application speeds, the sore point with the iPhone AT&T crowd, who love Apple and detest its mobile carrier.
As I sit at my desk writing this post, I’m staring at my 24″ iMac screen with Twitterific popping up every hour reminding me how much useless information is streaming through MobiMarketing, my Twitter site. Johannes Heinze, one of my followers, retweets about some TechCrunch jab at phones requiring a headset adapter.
My BlackBerry Curve stares at me, occasionally blinking red when email arrives (don’t text much). I have the Sprint Sanyo Pro-200, which replaced my landline a month or so ago. (It’s not ringing.) And…my Dell laptop quietly sits next to the iMac.
I swear every time I see smartphone users at Malls or sitting outside of Starbucks, they’re not TALKING on their iPhone. They’re playing games, listening to music and twiddling with the darn thing. That’s probably why Apple released the newer Touch (iPhone without the phone).
In an era of mobility, advanced, expensive smartphones that combine talk, chat, Web surfing and multimedia, ask yourself: “Why do I need a cell phone?” Phone calls are intrusive, sometimes annoying, depending on who’s on the other end of the line, and don’t give anything back to humanity.
Now you have a reason to throw your cell phone, smartphone, BlackBerry, G1 or whatever you use away. Instead, take a “peek” at Peek. AT&T will thank you for eliminating the billions they’re spending for smartphone users who suck data off the network and constantly complain.