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November 16, 2009

New $100 handheld device only tweets

Posted: 05:21 PM ET

If Twitter has taught the world anything, it is that less is more. Echoing that trend of keeping it simple, here comes TwitterPeek, the first handheld device solely focused on Twitter.

E-mail, music, phone service and text messaging are notably absent on the TwitterPeek. The device does allow for sending an unlimited amount of tweets and direct messages, and comes with a color screen to view Twitpics and access to friends, companies and celebrities' Twitter feeds.

“We have the same philosophy as Twitter,” says Lauren Hahn, an executive at Peek, the company behind the new device. Peek first produced a product that only provided e-mail and text functionality. They like to keep it simple, fun and most importantly, available to the masses.

TwitterPeek has raised questions on how people use Twitter and other devices that fit into pockets. For one, Adam Ostrow, editor in chief of the social-media blog Mashable, is skeptical.

“I think it has limited appeal considering all of the choices for mobile Twitter apps,” Ostrow said. “But for those that have no intention of buying a smartphone and still want to use Twitter on-the-go, it may be an option.”

Further, 60 percent of users only access Twitter via a computer, according to a survey conducted by Crowd Science and in August 2009. Three percent only use Twitter via mobile devices, while another 38 percent of tweeters use a combination of computer and mobile.

There currently seems to be an escalating competition to cram more social networks, songs, moves, cameras and applications onto a phone. But Peek points to the Flip Camera, PSP, and iPod as evidence people like devices that do one thing only.

The TwitterPeek costs $99.95, including six months of unlimited Twitter service. After that, using the device costs $7.95 per month. Hardcore tweeters may prefer the second option: Paying $199.95 for the device and a lifetime of unlimited Twitter service.

Hahn believes there is a misconception about how many Americans use, and can afford, smartphones. “Everyone seems to have a smartphone, but that not true,” she told CNN. “The vast majority of Americans still hold feature phones (voice and text).”

Hahn believes her target audience is not someone in New York, Washington, D.C. or San Francisco, where smartphones seem as common as traffic jams and people are willing to spend more money on devices that do everything.

“It is the rest of America that cannot afford the massive convergence devices, but still want to follow Lance Armstrong or Oprah on Twitter,” she said.

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Zack Heredia of Chillicothe Illinois   November 16th, 2009 9:26 pm ET

This thing is not worth it, my GF Eva Latallo has one and she never uses it. It sits in the corner collecting dust and barely even holds a charge.

Hannah   November 16th, 2009 11:21 pm ET

It looks cool to me (I like that colour .__.;;) but seeing as I hardly Twitter anyway, this is a waste of money and time.

Udun Nome   November 17th, 2009 1:10 pm ET

Further, 60 percent of users only access Twitter via a computer, according to a survey conducted by Crowd Science and in August 2009. Three percent only use Twitter via mobile devices, while another 38 percent of tweeters use a combination of computer and mobile.

Does anyone else work that out to be 101%? Also, PSP isn't a good example for how people like to use devices that do only one thing, since it can play games, play music, play videos, and access the internet.

Alex   November 17th, 2009 6:43 pm ET

This is a great idea for people who don't have expensive smart phones!

Bob   November 17th, 2009 8:41 pm ET

Can I also buy a $100 device that only sends updates to facebook and pay another $8 a month for that. Then I'll need another $100 gadget that only sends email for $8 a month. Of course, I probably want to browse the web, so that's another $100 and $8 a month. so $400 and $32 a month and I can send updates to twitter and facebook and send email. Then I just need a phone and I'd bet set...

Z   November 19th, 2009 12:04 am ET


Decyric   November 19th, 2009 10:56 am ET

This is quite possibly one of the worst ideas I have heard in a long time. I already have too many devices I want to carry around with me. For a man (lacking any kind of bag in which to carry things) there is limited real estate for anything. Phone, wallet, and keys are necessary. Add an ipod and I need a very strong belt just to hold my pants up. Even a device that was a one stop shop for all of the social networking sites would be a waste. Twitter is useless anyway. Good luck Peek

brad   November 19th, 2009 8:03 pm ET

The funny thing is, Twitter is going to be a dead site in two years...just like myspace, al.

Maurice   November 2nd, 2010 2:22 am ET

I have tried many devices like this, and for using for twitting they actually work really good.

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