Sep 08 AT 7:23 PM Jess Blanchard 21 Comments

Zen and the art of Android: In Memoriam


It seems at times that our beloved Android ecosystem is improving with each passing day. As the tech world moves rapidly onward to greater heights, sometimes it’s nice to look back and see exactly how far we’ve come. So, this Sunday, let’s get our nostalgia on and take a look back at a few fallen heroes who may be gone, but are not forgotten.

Cingular Wirelesscingular

Who doesn’t remember the orange jack and the AT&T-Cingular-AT&T change up? The two played brand leapfrog there for a hot minute. Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless in 2006. Then three years later, AT&T bought the entire BellSouth family, including Cingular, bringing the whole shenanigans full circle. My first carrier experience was with Cingular when I was 16. Back in my day, kids didn’t get cellphones until they started driving. And I even had to pay for it myself! Oh, Cingular. Your vibrant orange is missed.

Amp’d Mobile


What were you thinking, Amp’d Mobile? The housing market should have taken note of your brilliant business model; a lot of harm could have been avoided. Amp’d Mobile, an MVNO partnered with Verizon Wireless, declared bankruptcy in 2007 just two years after it launched in the U.S. and a matter of months after it launched in Canada. By that time, the company had burned through $360 million in capital. And court documents showed that 80,000 of its 175,000 customers were considered non-paying. Yowch. That’s because Amp’d considered credit checks a formality and intentionally marketed to risky customers.

They sure did know how to target that 18-35 broke-ass male demographic, tho. And I think that woman might have invented twerking.


MVNOs just didn’t seem to have the luck, did they? After EarthLink pulled out of its partnership with SK Telecom, the South Korean company sold the Helio brand to rival VNO, Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile retired the brand in 2010.

And Helio could have been great, man. EarthLink’s Sky Dayton wanted to turn the mobile industry up to 11 in the US after he and his wife, Arwen (seriously, who named these people?), saw the awesome tech they had in South Korea at the time. Of course, that plan never came to fruition, and the iPhone was announced around the same time as the company’s first smartphone-esque device, the Ocean, got out the door.

Nextel Communicationsnextel

Actually, you know what? I don’t miss Nextel. That push-to-talk walkie-talkie business was annoying. I guess it made sense, considering the company’s roots, but damn. I’m glad they merged with Sprint. Now if we can just get rid of Boost Mobile, the world will be a slightly better place. Where you at? Gone. That’s where you should be.

Samsung Blackjack

If you didn’t want this phone, there was something wrong with you. Look at it. Just look at it. I never got one when it first came out, but you can get one on Amazon for $35 and I think I’m going to do it.

Motorola RAZR


I did have this phone. It was hot pink. It made me feel like a high-powered sex kitten. It was also the first phone I had after my trusty Nokia brick (because you know we ALL had a brick one at some point). So, when it dropped a mere two feet and shattered into 3 pieces, I was incensed. I have not owned a Motorola device since. #stillpissed

Nokia  1000 Series1100-2

I would be remiss and probably fired if I didn’t mention these phones. But, it might be a bit of a misnomer to call the Nokia 1000 Series devices “fallen.” The Nokia 1100 is the AK-47 of mobile phones. You can bury it in the sand. Still works. You can use it in the rain. You can drop it from two feet and it won’t shatter into 3 pieces. *ahem* As far as phones go, it is barer than the bare minimum. But it has one thing going for it that no other device does: survival skills. The Nokia 1100 would outlast Bear Grylls. If it could drink its own pee, it would do so. For fun.

And that pretty much goes for every other Nokia brick ever made. In fact, my dad once threw a Nokia 3120 at a wall. The phone didn’t even scuff, but the wall was never the same. You could see the outline of the keypad and screen where the phone hit.

These are just a few of our favorite throwbacks (literally, in my dad’s case). Please take a walk down memory lane and share yours in the comments!

Words are hard. I word good.

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