Back in 2008, the original Peek was launched. It was not a sophisticated smartphone, or anything like that; it was a strict single-purpose device, designed for email use only. You could either pay a monthly subscription fee, or $299 upfront for “lifelong” service. Well, those who did the latter are now out of luck, as the company has announced that it would discontinue that service and all hardware, and instead concentrate on software solutions that work on top of existing platform like Android.
It’s not all bad news, however. To negate some of the bad karma (we’d presume), Peek CEO Amol Sarva told The Verge that they’d be giving out the remaining “few thousand” devices to hackers. Make no mistake: you aren’t getting high-powered machines with dual-core processors, 720p displays and such. It’s just a pretty bare-bones QWERTY device, with a 2.5″ QVGA display (240×320, in case you forgot), ARMv7 processor and GSM radio.
The software isn’t much more appealing, or at least that’s what we gather from “operating system sucks but is workable”. Still, a tested and reliable device with an unexplored OS on it is pretty interesting from a hacker’s perspective, no? Even if it probably can’t run Android, considering its limited hardware.
Anyway, it’s up to you to try. If you’re interested in getting one of those devices, drop an email to the CEO himself, amol [at] peek [dot] ly.