As a “connected gadget guy” I had heard a few rumors that Peek (the company blissfully unaware that people generally do like BlackBerries, and I don’t much care that it’s on Oprah’s list – the future is smartphones and it isn’t slowing down anytime soon) was coming out with a Twitter-only device. I scoffed at most of these comments, as it sounded so… odd. As I stated about the WikiReader last week, in the mobile space converged devices are hands-down beating out single purpose devices.
But I saw a tweet today claiming it’s real, and I did a quick Amazon search, and lo-and-behold – it’s real! But to think that there’s a market out there for a Twitter-only device is just plain puzzling.
Let me break it down a bit:
- Twitter use is, for the most part, technologists and some celebrities. Both groups have smartphones, primarily iPhones and BlackBerries, which have fairly rich Twitter integration. Neither will purchase a new device that does Twitter only.
- New-to-Twitter people are still getting warm on the concept (well actually mostly they are just dropping the service), and wouldn’t buy a new gadget.
- This leaves us to the “if and when Twitter gains mass acceptance” market. Let’s discuss some more…
I’m still far from sold that Twitter hits mainstream adoption. Granted it’s being splattered across virtually every media one comes across, it’s still lacking in its ability to get widespread use by widespread users. This is very different from “people know about this Twitter thing because of Oprah”. Right now, most people who encounter the service do not become regular users. It’s still quite a few steps away from the masses actually using it.
Which makes it even more steps away from the masses buying a device that does nothing but Tweet. Sorry to poo-poo on a new gadget (again), but I can’t help but feel that this is yet another case of a lack of market definition prior to building something (costly).
By the way, on the chance/assumption that this is exactly the same Peek as before, only more Twitterized, then at least I feel a little bit better that there wasn’t a crazy amount of time investment to build this thing. But if that’s the case I can’t understand why they’d turn off the email service? Too much crazy going on for me here to comprehend.
As a last p.s. – whomever was supposed to launch this thing shouldn’t have let Amazon list it early… Kinda spoils the surprise.