Chris posted the following in a comment, but I thought it was worth highlighting in a dedicated post. His letter touches on some of the feelings a lot of us long-time Sidekick lovers are feeling I think:
My sentiments as a long-time subscriber:
Iíve had your services since your spokesperson was a parrot and your name was Omnipoint. I even sold them as an Authorized Dealer when the pager business died. It was 1998, and you only offered a handful of brick-sized phones (remember the Ericsson 388?), and your flagship handset had a 3-color screen and was made by Siemens. I remember using prepaid coupons to pay my postpaid bill – Genius! Your network was small, your plans were so-so, but digital was superior, and you were my first choice.
You became Voicestream, and had a fancy, stylized logo and Jamie-Lee Curtis was your spokesperson. She gave James Earl Jones a run for his money and you began to look like a major player. There were plenty of companies to choose from, but I stayed faithful. I used all the newest handsets and loved the ease of switching my SIM, allowing me to try all the newest phones. My Nokia 3300 fell 100 times but never failed me. I would just put the shell back together, and I had all the colors. I composed my own ringers painstakingly from the composer before it became a billion-dollar business. AT&T was still TDMA back then, and you were the only GSM player for a while (It still amazes me how you let Cingular/Big Blue leapfrog you with your own technology, but I digress).
You gobbled up smaller carriers left and right, and soon you got your new name. T-Mobile. Your coverage maps still looked like daddy-long-legs, but with each revision, the pink spiders gained weight. You were determined to provide call quality over tower quantity, knowing the latter would come soon enough. I always had enjoyable experiences as a customer and got my whole family under your wing.
Flash forward to 2002. I had a two-way pager from Skytel, and life was good. I could actually check email without a COMPUTER! My last regular handset was a Motorola V70, a slick-looking phone that rotated instead of flipping open. But I lusted for something that could do it all. I bought an unlocked Motorola Accompli 009 online to combine my 2-way pager with a phone, and also had a color screen. Mandatory headset required though, and Bluetooth didnít exist yet. That didnít last long. I looked at my sheet of upcoming phones and saw some chunky, grey, calculator-looking thing with a full keyboard. And the screen did some funky, flip move that snapped open like I always wished the V70 had done. Was this the device I had been looking for?
Ahhh, what say I say to my dear old friend. I picked up your ugly duckling of a device and never looked back. I had never been brand-loyal with handset manufacturers, but boy, did that change. In my entire history as a wireless customer, no device has matched the ingenuity of something so useful as the Jump button. Iíve multi-tasked with ease, and frequented the hiptop.com (later, poweredbydanger.com) forums daily anticipating each OTA update. I remember when AIM smileys and copy/paste were added. I posted so often under the name JustifydHomicide that I was a ďPower UserĒ. Appletech, The Gryphon, mwsmith, JHC Ė These people were the gurus of my Sidekick experience. I got a developerís key and loved testing applications, learning the Menu+Shift shortcuts like the back of my hand.
You were always so ahead of the curve, single-handedly creating the catalog model for which Apple smugly gets credit, and for which all the other OS companies are still clamoring. I felt that I was using the latest and greatest technology, for a while that is. I anticipated each new hardware launch and recall ordering the Sidekick 2 at midnight of the launch. Iíve done the same for each new device, and even sprung for the Mr. Cartoon and LRG LEís. I remained positive after your acquisition by Microsoft, even after they unceremoniously fired half of your staff, anxiously hoping that someday Iíd see the convergence of the Sidekick with another favorite, the Zune.
When the G1 came out, I resisted temptation and waited to upgrade to the LX09 even though 3G hadnít launched in my area yet. I was grandfathered into your $20 data, and was willing to forgo the latest handset and stay loyal to you. For the first time, however, I was thoroughly unimpressed by your new outfit. Sure, your new dress was sexy and sleek, but the new integration of social networking apps lacked functionality and slowed my typically reliable OS to a crawl. I became plagued with frequent resets and freezing and now stay logged out of apps unless I need them, opting to use the browser for Twitter rather than the especially-limited catalog version. It soon became clear why this app and others were provided to the end user for free.
I began to fall out of love with you after gazing at superior products. I even flirted with a few, impressed by better features and ease of use. I developed an infatuation for Android like a middle middle-aged man staring at a young home-wrecker. The company whose ingenuity I had loved and been loyal to had changed like an estranged wife of 6 years. It felt like you lost your touch, and looking at your renders of the Project Pink phones had me drawing up my divorce papers.
Then, there was the straw that broke the camelís back,
October 2nd, 2009:
You know the particulars, so I wonít cover old news. You know what you did. You cheated on me. I had a trust in you that I was sure you wouldnít break. My secrets were safe with you throughout our relationship, and then you walked out on me in the form of a data outage. It had happened before, but never like this. I couldnít reach you for over a week, and when I heard from you, I realized that it was worse than I thought. You didnít just fail me, but you also destroyed everything we built together. Taking over 1000 contacts with you when you left was like emptying the joint account and taking the kids. You didnít even leave the pictures as a memento. How cruel could you be?
Apparently you had a change of heart, restoring some of my contacts, although you havenít yet made me whole. Iím still waiting for you to drop off the rest of my stuff – Do you think you can get the calendar, bookmarks, and photos back to me soon? Iím starting to think itíll all work out in the end; Iím getting comfortable with the idea that we wonít be together much longer. I noticed you took yourself off the market on t-mobile.com, too. Decided not to play the field?
Android looks better every day, but I like my ladies with keyboards, and G1ís getting wrinkles every day. I check in on my new love interests N900 and Bold 2 daily, and canít wait to choose my new wife. T-Mobile at least had enough Loyalty (Plan) to allow me to forgive them, but you I cannot. The credits and new handset they offered me make me feel a little better.
With your bold launch of Project Dark, this could not have come at a more inopportune time. I applaud your willingness to adopt a new model and buck the tradition that has plagued the wireless climate in the U.S. I will not be converting to one of these new plans, as my current plan suits me better. I do wonder two things about your no-contract Even More Plus plans:
Will handsets purchased at full retail come unlocked?
Will customer be allowed to provide their own unlocked handset and sign up for Even More Plus?
In closing, thank you T-Mobile for always having a ďThink Customer FirstĒ attitude, a credo of another large and successful company. Your customer service is unparalleled, and your philosophy as a company influenced me to work for your corporation during my 9-year wireless career, before moving on to a different industry. In this situation, you didnít hesitate to concede your faults for Microsoft/Dangerís shortcomings. Although you were only indirectly responsible, you realized that ultimately YOU collect my bill, and I respect that. I wonít disclose what concessions youíve offered me to retain my business, but I do beleive that I will continue to a be satisfied customer some time in November. I hope Microsoft makes you whole for your loss of revenue due to this debacle.