The Peek device will cost $100 and service will be 20 $/mo (flat fee, no contract). T-Mobile USA is the network partner and Target is Peek's distribution partner.
Some quick comments:
- The target demographic may be well-defined (middle-aged women with kids), but competition is severe (BlackBerry, smartphones, not to mention the iPhone etc.), but it could be a very well targeted strategy. However, the barrier-to-entry seems low for operators or device manufacturers (Samsung, Nokia, Sprint) to copy this product/service. Interesting so see if Peek will fly.
- Amazon Kindle comes to mind as a look-alike, but for books. Very focused and no dealings with the network partner (in that case Sprint Nextel).
- From T-Mobile's perspective, this is another smart way to improve utilisation rates and create a new high-margin revenue stream. This type of partners (like Peek and Kindle) is a whole new breed (a downstream partner for the network as a platform - in STL speak).
- Email messages are generally small (in terms of bits) and not as time-sensitive as voice service (hence latency is no problem) and will not easily clog up the network.