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Mobile

At Cingular, the Ogo is a no-go

No. 1 U.S. cell phone operator says data-only device doesn't fit its strategy. But it will still support Ogos that have been sold.

No. 1 U.S. cell phone operator Cingular Wireless has stopped selling the Ogo, a BlackBerry-like wireless handheld, but said on Thursday that it will continue to support the devices that have already been sold.

The Ogo is a phone that doesn't make phone calls. Rather, it caters to an array of data-only services including text messaging, instant messaging and e-mailing.

Ogo
Credit: Ogo
Cingular has given the Ogo
a thumbs-down.

The Ogo's fate at Cingular underscores the dominance of the Treo, BlackBerry and Sidekick, similar kinds of higher-end wireless devices that cater to mobile professionals and the young and hip. In a now infamous episode, someone hacked the Sidekick of celebrity heiress Paris Hilton, then published an A-list of telephone numbers found on the handheld.

The Ogo is a carryover from AT&T Wireless, which Cingular Wireless purchased for $41 billion a few months after AT&T Wireless introduced the $100 device. For another $18 monthly, subscribers got unlimited ingoing and outgoing messaging using e-mail and IM services from one of three providers: Yahoo, MSN or America Online. Customers could also get access to additional providers for $3 a month each.

"As a data-only device, the Ogo does not fit into Cingular's handset strategy" of offering devices capable of both data applications and phone calling, Cingular said in a statement.