T-Mobile to Danger: Fix it, or Else!

march 23, 2005

Here is an unconfirmed article from Gizmodo about T-Mobile's ultimatum to Danger. The ultimatum? Fix the security issues on your backend servers or we (T-Mobile) will stop selling your (Danger) Sidekick devices. I doubt that this ultimatum arose because of the Paris Hilton non-hack (she was not hacked, it was all social engineering, and Danger can't stop stupid people from doing stupid things). I am guessing that it had more to do with the earlier break-in that exposed Secret Service emails and other assorted data to hackers. This earlier break-in by Nicolas Jacobsen may just be the reason why T-Mobile is cracking down on security -- and shaking down outside companies that have access to customer information. T-Mobile is a major investor in Danger and this threat is probably not being taken lightly by Danger -- and even if T-Mobile were not a major investor, just the thought of having T-Mobile stop selling the Sidekick II would be enough to scare Danger. The date of the security ultimatum is July 1st, 2005 according to the article. We will see if this report is true or not, Gizmodo is usually pretty reliable with their reports. I wonder what the fall out for both T-Mobile and Danger would be if T-Mobile truly stopped selling the SKII. What would happen for current Sidekick, Color Sidekick and Sidekick II users? From what I have read, I assume that T-Mobile has already lost some money because of the Sidekick line of devices: SK and CSKs had a high failure rate and it is not surprising to hear from users who have had more than five replacements on these devices. T-Mobile recently gave away a free month of data service to all Sidekick users because of a five day outage caused by Danger. In late January or early February, there was another outage caused by Danger when they moved their servers. There were many who were compensated for that outage also. It does not look cheap for T-Mobile to keep selling/supporting the Sidekick devices (even if they are selling well) if outages, security issues and faulty hardware continue to plague the Sidekick platform. Which is too bad because if the Sidekick platform were completely reliable, it would be the best mobile data platform out there. The Sidekick platform is a wonder in design from software to hardware, but there are lots of issues that plague the actual device and backend servers that take away from the wonder.