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T-Mobile to halt Sidekick sales

A day after Microsoft announces it is stopping work on the Kin, T-Mobile says it is halting sales of the other Microsoft-designed cell phone line.

Well, it looks like the Kin's kin is also getting the ax.

T-Mobile confirmed to CNET on Thursday that it plans to stop selling the two existing Sidekick models.

"As T-Mobile looks to further innovate and raise the bar for the next generation 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 company said in a statement.

T-Mobile is halting sales of its Sidekick models, including the Sidekick LX seen here, as of Friday. T-Mobile

Existing customers will still be supported and the company seems to suggest that it is not done with the brand, though it may not be getting future products will come from Microsoft's Danger subsidiary, which provided all prior Sidekick models.

"While we work on the next chapter of our storied Sidekick franchise, T-Mobile will continue to provide our loyal Sidekick customers with product service and support," T-mobile said. "Stay tuned for exciting updates in the months ahead, which we expect will provide customers with a new and fresh experience.

T-Mobile declined to elaborate on the future Sidekick plans, but the company has been rumored for months to be prepping Android-based Sidekicks.

Word of the demise of the current Sidekicks comes just a day after Microsoft announced it was halting work on the Kin, which targeted the same demographic and was built by many of the same people who had worked on the Sidekick.

The Sidekick, originally dubbed the Hiptop by Danger and sold under that brand by some other carriers, was among the first devices to combine Web browser, instant messaging, e-mail, and phone into a single device. Although some likened the original devices to talking on a bar of soap, the phones drew a loyal following with their flip-open screen, relatively large keyboard and good messaging software.

However, the product failed to keep pace with other smartphones and suffered a major blow last year when a massive outage caused customers to lose data. It's future, already in question before the outage, has been highly suspect ever since.

Microsoft spent several hundred million dollars to acquire Danger in 2008, putting much of that team to work on the project that eventually became the Kin.

Danger was started by Andy Rubin, who later left that company to launch another mobile start-up, which was acquired by Google. Since then, Rubin has been leading the development of Google's Android open-source mobile platform.