T-Mobile to discontinue Sidekick 4G, but may not kill Sidekick brand

T-Mobile USA has decided to stop selling the Sidekick 4G smartphone, but the carrier indicated that it is not letting go of the Sidekick brand completely.

Samsung T-Mobile Sidekick 4G Andriod

T-Mobile's Sidekick 4G

"While the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is being retired, it doesn't mean we are discontinuing the T-Mobile Sidekick line," the carrier said in a statement to The Verge. "T-Mobile continues to update and expand its 4G product portfolio and we'll keep you posted when we have news to share on T-Mobile's latest 4G devices." The discontinuation of the Sidekick 4G was first reported by the TMONews blog.

For T-Mobile, the Sidekick was once one of the signature elements of its positioning as a carrier. The Sidekick brand launched in 2002 and included a series of devices running a cloud-based operating system from Danger. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) acquired Danger in 2008; Danger software powered Microsoft's failed Kin social networking phones. T-Mobile then said it would discontinue support for Danger's software on its existing Sidekick devices before May 31, 2011. Then, in March 2011, T-Mobile and Samsung revived the Sidekick brand with the Sidekick 4G, which ran Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform, sported a custom UI based on Samsung's TouchWiz, and accessed T-Mobile's HSPA+21 network.

Over the past several months, T-Mobile has focused much of its attention on newer Android devices, especially those like the HTC Amaze 4G that can access T-Mobile's faster HSPA+ 42 network. Additionally, T-Mobile is working to promote the Windows Phone platform; the carrier was the first in the United States to bring Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Windows Phone products to market with the Lumia 710.

For more:
- see this The Verge article

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