T-Mobile to halt Sidekick sales, promises 'new and fresh experience'

T-Mobile USA will discontinue sales of its Sidekick devices as it works to figure out the next steps for the line of Qwerty gadgets, the carrier said. The decision brings to an end, at least for now, the long-running relationship between the carrier and device, which was designed by Microsoft's Danger.

T-Mobile USA’s Sidekick LX is soon to be retired."As T-Mobile looks to further innovate and raise the bar for the next iteration of the T-Mobile Sidekick, as of July 2, the Sidekick LX and Sidekick 2008 will no longer be available through T-Mobile, including retail stores, care, telesales and online," the carrier told Phone Scoop in a statement. "While we work on the next chapter of our storied Sidekick franchise, T-Mobile will continue to provide our loyal Sidekick customers with product service and support. Stay tuned for exciting updates in the months ahead, which we expect will provide customers with a new and fresh experience."

T-Mobile introduced the first Sidekick, designed by upstart Danger, more than six years ago, and the innovative, swiveling device helped popularize the Qwerty keyboard format for mobile phones. Microsoft acquired Danger in 2008.

Last fall, T-Mobile and Microsoft suffered a public relations black eye after a Microsoft server failure imperiled some Sidekick users' personal data (the gadgets rely on a cloud-based data storage system). After several weeks of work, Microsoft said recovered most, if not all, of the missing data.

T-Mobile's announcement about the Sidekick comes a day after Microsoft said it will discontinue sales of its Kin social networking phones. Microsoft said it will not ship Kin in Europe this fall as planned, and will integrate its Kin team (which comprised some of its Danger assets) with its Windows Phone 7 team; Microsoft will continue to work with carrier partner Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) to sell current Kin phones.

For more:
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