Mobile Email Gadget Peek Starts Selling Online, Gets NYT Pogue Slobbering

NY-based gadget startup Peek — whose mobile device does email, and nothing else — has started selling its gadget on the Web ahead of its nationwide launch at Target stores next Monday. And it seems to have found a few buyers already — the gadget is already backordered online for a week in two of its three colours.

But Peek’s best news so far came in this morning’s New York Times — a slobbering by tech columnist David Pogue, who bundled Peek in the same category of simple, elegant “one-trick ponies” as Apple’s (AAPL) iPod and the popular Flip video camera:

Truth is, the Peek, even in its current condition, elicits “oh, I want that!” from many a nontechie.

Not everyone wants or needs a smartphone; plenty of people would rather talk on a comfortably compact mobile phone instead of holding what looks like a JuicyJuice box up to their heads. For them, having a sweet, thin Peek in the purse or the pocket, just for e-mail, makes a lot of sense.

We’ve been playing with a Peek for about a week, and we think Pogue gets it mostly right. The Peek is simple, extremely easy to set up and use, and just plain works. There’s a few tweaks we’d love to see via a software update, like support for our work email (IMAP), and ideally, some sort of Web browser. But otherwise, from a technical standpoint, it’s solid.

But while we understand the merits of a simple device that only does one thing, we still think Peek’s pricing could be a hurdle. We’re still not convinced most people will pay $100 up front (and $20 a month) for a device that only does email — when several small, elegant smartphones that do email, the Web, phone calls, text messaging, and more, cost the same $100 or less, and the same $20 per month for wireless Internet access. But we’d be happy to be proven wrong.

See Also:
Why Buy An Email-Only Gadget? A Founder Makes His Case
Will Peek’s $100 Lo-Fi BlackBerry Take Off?
RIM’s Cheap Flip Phone Could Drive Huge BlackBerry Adoption, Says RBC

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