T-Mobile to resurrect the Sidekick with 4G and Android

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t-mobile carlyT-Mobile is bringing back the Sidekick messaging phone from the dead, and this time it will be packing Android and support for its 4G network, PC Magazine reports.

At a press breakfast today, T-Mobile USA CEO Philipp Humm confirmed that the next-generation Sidekick, as well as a 4G version of Samsung’s Galaxy S, will be “coming soon.” The devices, which will run on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ 4G network, are expected to appear in the first half of 2011.

We expected the carrier to announce a 4G version of the Galaxy S (we know that LTE 4G versions are headed to Verizon and AT&T), but the resurrection of the Sidekick comes as a surprise. Danger, the company that created the formerly popular Sidekick, was acquired by Microsoft in 2008 — but the only fruits of that union were the failed Kin phones. (Danger called its early smartphones “Hiptops,” but T-Mobile controls the “Sidekick” trademark for smartphones.) T-Mobile has a better chance at finding success with a new Sidekick with the combination of fast 4G speeds and Android.

Unlike Microsoft’s Kin, I don’t suspect T-Mobile will pursue a not-quite-smartphone approach with the new Sidekick. The device will likely still be targeted at the youth demographic, but it’s easier for T-Mobile to offer Android’s full capabilities on the phone, instead of creating an artificially limited experience like Microsoft did with the Kin. And if T-Mobile can manage to deliver the new device for significantly less than current high-end Android phones, it may be able to recreate its former glory with the Sidekick.

Front photo via Umberto Salvagnin

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