AT&T Release Ogo

AT&T have finally released their Ogo handset. The US$130 (€106) device is designed to do one thing well – messaging. The Ogo allows subscribers to send emails, instant messages and text messages, and that’s about it – but there’s plenty of demand in the market for a simple messaging product that performs well. Are we seeing the opposite of convergence?

The Ogo will attract comparisons with its nearest competitor, the Blackberry, though with its brightly coloured display screens and clamshell design it is clearly aimed at a much younger, less business-based market. The 115mm x 75 mm x 25 mm unit opens up to present a 4000-colour screen and keyboard, and provides 2.5 hours of usage time with 120 hours standby. 2.5 hours doesn’t seem like a lot to us, and we’re sure many avid text and email users will have to charge their Ogo at the end of every day.

For a monthly subscription starting at US$17.99 (€14.62), users get unlimited ingoing and outgoing email and instant messages one of Yahoo, MSN or AOL, extra accounts cost an additional US$3 (€2.43) a month.

Andre Dahan, president of AT&T Wireless Mobile Multimedia Services, said in a statement: “With Ogo, we are creating an entirely new category and the next ‘must have’ device in the consumer electronics space. Unlike many of today’s disappointing multi-purpose wireless devices, we created Ogo to do one thing – mobile messaging – extraordinarily well. Ogo doesn’t pretend to be ‘all things to all people,’ and is not bogged down by hardly-used features or an out-of-reach price tag. Instead, Ogo offers the most desirable mobile applications, on a smartly-designed device that most people can afford.”


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?