updated 02:10 pm EDT, Mon October 12, 2009
T-Mobile lets Sidekick user drop contract
(Update #2 with T-Mobile plans) T-Mobile may let Sidekick owners affected by the permanent data loss drop their contracts and move to other phones, one subscriber says today. At least one customer reports to Gizmodo that he has been offered an early exit from his contract as well as having the option of buying a T-Mobile G1 for the same $130 price new or eligible customers would pay. BlackBerries and other smartphone-class devices have also been made options.
It's as yet undetermined whether the owner is an isolated case or if the move is a reflection of a broader policy towards frustrated Sidekick owners. T-Mobile has been asked for comment.
An extension of the sort would signal a rapid escalation of T-Mobile's efforts to preserve customers or to avoid rumored class action lawsuits from those whose contacts and other online information have been lost in the Microsoft server outage. The situation may not only cost Microsoft Sidekick (and potentially Windows Mobile) users but may also have an inadvertent benefit for Android, as those on T-Mobile's official forums have repeatedly suggested moving to an Android phone from HTC or Motorola.
Update: T-Mobile has added that it's "considering additional measures" of an unspecified nature for Sidekick owners.
Update #2: The company now says it will offer owners a $100 gift card in addition to the earlier month of free data service. Also, most data services have been restored and the chance exists for some data to be recovered, though other data is likely to have been permanently lost.