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Sidekick finally yanked out of commission by T-Mobile

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(Read caption) Sidekick, farewell. After years of faithful service, the T-Mobile Sidekick, pictured here, is heading into the sunset.

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It's hard out there for a (non-Apple, non-Android) phone.

Days after Microsoft took the short-lived Kin out of commission – amid rumors that only 500 Kin units had been sold – T-Mobile has pulled the plug on the Sidekick, a handset eulogized by Gizmodo as "the granddaddy of messaging phones." T-Mobile said in a statement that it is looking forward to the "the next chapter of our storied Sidekick franchise," and told current Sidekick owners that their service would remain unaffected.

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"T-Mobile looks to further innovate and raise the bar for the next iteration of the T-Mobile Sidekick, as of July 2, the Sidekick LX and Sidekick 2008 will no longer be available through T-Mobile, including retail stores, care, telesales and online," the T-Mobile statement said.

2010 has been a slow year for the Sidekick. The phone originally won raves for its fast, intuitive sliding keyboard, but as the market became saturated with handsets such as the iPhone 4 and the Motorola Droid X – phones with operating systems and software that well outpace the OS on T-Mobile's text-happy machine – Sidekick sales have slumped.

Over at Gizmodo, Brian Barrett ponders the future of the Sidekick.

"[I]n this world of hyper-capable smartphones, there's really no place for a device that costs as much and can't do nearly enough," Barrett writes. "Will Sidekick come back ever? Sure, probably. It's still a strong brand even if the products are obsolete. But when it does return, you'd better believe it'll have a real OS behind it."

Amen to that.

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