Why the Peek 9


The makers of the Peek Pronto have introduced a new device; the Peek 9. Great!

What is it? Is it a phone? A scientific calculator? A digital dictionary? I got it, it’s an Electronic Foreign Language Translator!

Actually it is none of those things. It is an Email Device. It probably should be some or all of those other things, then perhaps we can have a reasonable expectation of people actually wanting something like this. In a world of the Smart-Phone and even the Feature-Phone becoming better at doing practically everything except cooking your dinner, what could a simple email device do for you?Simple Gone Social

The idea behind the original Peek was for it to be a simple way to get your email on the go. Period. No bells, no whistles. Just email. The later released Peek Pronto enabled SMS, Twitter and Facebook capabilities along with a few other enhancements (if you can call it that). Simple not so simple anymore…

Even with those features, it doesnt seem to be worth the 70 bucks they were asking. Not to mention the $20.00 a month for service.

New and Improved?

“Everyone else was doing more, we did less. Everyone else was chasing premium. We made it cheap. Everyone was focused on flash and trash. We made nuts and bolts. Cheap, simple, fast email,” said Amol Sarva, the Peekster-in-Chief.

“For some reason, while everyone is busy making $99 touch screen phones (we’re not), the average cell phone bill seems to be going up (including ours). But aren’t people talking less? Texting, email, etc, more? Isn’t that cheaper?”

True, most people do not talk as much on their phones. But we all still want the option. You ever try to give detailed directions through text messages or emails, going back and forth with the person? The fact is, talking is still the fastest form of communication. Sometimes you need an answer, quickly. Sometimes it’s an emergency. Sometimes we want to hear our loved ones voice.

Cheaper isn’t always better.

On the Otherhand…

Peek however, may have a chance if targeted at the right market. Business professionals.

If you have ever worked at a large office you would see just about everyone has a Blackberry that is provided by the company. A lot of corporate phones are used now for email only. Peeks would be a lot cheaper for the company to have for sure. That should be the target demographic. Not regular consumers. Consumers want more than just email. I mean, if I work at Target as a cashier I’m not gonna be checking email my entire lunch break. Twitter and Facebook is nice but I have a whole 30 minutes to an hour to kill. Can I surf the web, or listen to music, play video games or call my brother?

If its cheap its cheap, and aren’t we always surprised when cheap stuff actually does something cool? Why? It’s because we didn’t expect it to do much in the first place. That’s where Peek stands. Most people like simple things. But we aren’t asking for the world when we say, “Peek why not put a web browser on there and maybe we can talk.” Or someone would say, “Peek, how about a new hardware design if your gonna come out with a new model. I haven’t seen a scroll wheel on anything since my Blackberry 8700 from like 20 years ago.”

Simple is not better for everyone. But what do you think?

Is Peek 9 a deal or is Peek just not getting it?

Posted in: Articles, News, Wireless
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Raph84 September 23, 2010, 10:08 am

    Their business model seems to be based on inefficiency. They have created a cheap product which can not do 2 major tasks that the market seems to demand (calls, and browsing). They may be able to find a niche in companies that don’t want to provide expensive smart phones to their employees that already have there own. Even that strategy would be based on inefficiency. A company where the majority of people have a smart phone would be better off subsidizing part of the cost (saving themselves and their employees money) and setting employees up with a smartphone accessible mail server.

  • Jackie Cheng September 23, 2010, 10:49 am

    I’ve tested out the Peek Pronto awhile back (even though I had a blackberry at that time). It was nice to have an email only device but after using it for awhile, I’ve realized that it’s not suitable for heavy email users. 1) The keyboard was stiff and hard to type on with the thumbs. 2) Emails coming in was not as fast as a blackberry.
    To me it seems like the Peek would be nicely suited for kids or the older generation. Nice and simple to use. But for heavy emails and business people, I would still suggest a blackberry or any other smartphone.

  • The Doctor September 23, 2010, 11:32 am

    Will it work with my university’s Zimbra system?

    • Jeff Hollaway September 23, 2010, 11:52 am

      I’m not sure how well it works, but even if it has super fast email, that’s all it is! And it doesn’t even look different than the other models!

  • The Dreamer September 23, 2010, 11:41 am

    I’ve been thinking of shedding my smartphone (for a Touch)….but still want email everywhere…

    Oh, looks like its a T-Mobile/GSM device. Only one carrier penetrates into work…and its USCellular/CDMA.

  • Jackie Cheng September 23, 2010, 4:55 pm

    @Jeff – There is absolutely no hardware changes from the original Peek, Pronto, and the new Peek 9. The new Peek 9 is mainly a software upgrade. They even allow users of the original Peek and Pronto to upgrade their firmware to 9.

    • Jeff Hollaway September 23, 2010, 5:30 pm

      @Jackie Cheng
      Are you serious? What is wrong with them?

  • turn.self.off September 23, 2010, 9:28 pm

    Iirc, RIM started out with similar products.

  • The Dreamer September 24, 2010, 3:26 pm

    I wish RIM still sold those devices….I don’t need a voice plan. Now they require me to be deaf to be exempt from getting a voice plan on my blackberry.

  • Jackie Cheng September 27, 2010, 5:30 pm

    @the dreamer – Better find a friendly doctor to write you a fake notice so you can get those handicap techs…lol. I really wish they did just offer data only plans for smartphones. I mean they will open a whole new market.

  • Yucca October 13, 2010, 5:29 pm

    @Jackie Cheng

    Actually, there is no hardware change from the original Peek to the Peek Pronto, but according to their customer service the Peek 9 does have significant hardware improvements. It is true that the original device can be upgraded to Peek 9 software to get the added functionality, but not all the added speed.

    One critical feature of the Peek devices that was omitted from this review is the lifetime service plan. That’s something I’ve never seen before on any device other than the kindle.

    I think there is a larger market than just the cheapskate business customers; many people actively avoid talking on the phone when texting is an option. In my opinion, this device on a lifetime plan combined with google voice for a phone number and voicemail transcription is a very powerful and versatile combination (far beyond most cell phones).

  • textermcmaster October 14, 2010, 11:19 pm

    the new peek 9 launched like a lead balloon. it blew out their system and they had to give away the device to make up with subscribers for the mess they created. their glitzy ad campaign fizzled when users got the device in their hands. seriously… do some homework before buying this slow and nearly useless device.

  • Johnathon Johnson October 19, 2010, 3:26 pm

    I would have to say that my blackberry is a leash. When my work or my wife calls I am expected to answer, lest I become ostracized for days after. That being said an email device would be a much better option. Many people do not like to be forced to answer immediately when beckoned. This device follows that idea, the leash has been loosened and you can answer when you wish. Screw phones. This will give freedom back to mankind. I love it.

    Unfortunately my wife would kill me if I bought it and abandoned the blackberry.

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