Peek, the standalone email-only messaging handset, has launched a one-day sale. While the company has offered many one day sales recently, in an effort to restart sluggish sales, this offer has a twist. For the first time, the company is offering lifetime service, which normally costs $20/month.
At $299.95, the cost of the service is hard to figure, in part due to Peek’s constant price adjustments for the device. PhoneNews.com has seen the device sell anywhere from $19.99 all the way up to its standard MSRP of $99.99. Even at the $20/month level, you are paying up front for 14 months of service, and then the device and service are free after that. At the now-common APR of 21.99% of credit cards, that runs to about $340, or about 28 months (two years and four months) worth of service.
Peek still only supports POP3-based email providers. Despite an incorrect review from a New York Times technology journalist, Peek says that they plan to support IMAP “later in 2009.” Peek uses GPRS data and runs on the T-Mobile network. While it supports GSM 850/1800/1900, it currently only works inside the United States.
Unknown however, is if this is an act of desperation to save the company’s service, and provide an immediate cash infusion. Peek will have to pay indefinitely to T-Mobile for each device activated on this plan. Other companies such as TiVo have offered similar lifetime service plans sporadically, but rarely are based on a dependent service provider (such as T-Mobile). We strongly advise to take care when making a large investment in a private company offering “lifetime” service. $300 for 91 days of service is pretty much all your credit card company can protect you for.