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Peek pitches mobile e-mail to the parental female

image If Apple’s MobileMe is “Exchange for the rest of us,” what New York-based startup Peek is attempting is the hardware equivalent for original Blackberry. Today, of course, RIM is scrambling to play the convergence game as well as anyone, tacking on touch screens, pitching development dollars, and beefing up media support., but for a long time it was not so. The Blackberry already had momentum when it operated on a two-way paging service and couldn’t even make phone calls. It was a mobile e-mail appliance.

And that will the exact tack taken by Peek, which seeks to simplify the way smartphone abstainers access e-mail on the go. A main target is what the company calls “family commanders” (sorry, no camouflage version among its three colors) — generally style-conscious moms trying to keep up with the latest missives sent throughout the day. For example, the sealed rubbery keyboard is designed to be fingernail-friendly. While Peek, which is the name of the company, service and the sub-$100 device, will use GSM, it won’t be distributed through carrier stores. It will require a flat monthly fee and a credit card but no contract.

image Among its differentiators, the company sees its retail distribution, easy setup and single-purpose focus. SMS and instant messaging won’t be supported, at least not at first. Peek will seek greater success than previous attempts into the mobile consumer e-mail device space such as Ogo and the strange PocketMail Composer, a personal organizer-like product that used acoustic coupling to send and receive email using an analog telephone. (PocketMail’s site and even order form remain active, but the device is listed as out of stock. The company began in 1995 under the pun-embracing name PocketScience.)


  1. sam sam August 21, 2008

    I want to say thank you for going against what everyone else thinks is “conventional”. You’re absolutely right, the geeks won’t think too much of this device, but I can think of a dozen people that would love to have your Peek(r). I mean seriously, what did people think when Apple thought up the iPod device years ago? There were already many music players on the market…but what they did is incredibly simplify the experience…and made it available to the “rest” of the folks…and the rest is history.
    Just last night I was talking to a friend who does full time evangelizing work during the day…and has about 400 emails waiting for him every couple of days when he checks his email account. And I thought it would be great to get him an “email only” device that was cheap and had full qwerty. And today I find this device.

    I hope this works out for you guys…I just wish the email plan was more like $10.

    – Sam De La Garza

  2. Ross Rubin Ross Rubin August 21, 2008

    Thanks for your note. Just to clarify, I am not affiliated in any way with Peek but your feedback to the company will certainly be available for them to read here.

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