Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of 3, is set to move into the mobile phone manufacturing market with the launch of the INQ1. The INQ1 will be made by INQ, a Hutchison subsidiary and will be a slider phone enabling fast access to popular internet applications like Facebook and Skype, plus a wealth of social netyworking functionality.
The INQ1 has been created by the team behind the Skypephone, and, in common with that groundbreaking device, will be exclusive to 3 in the UK at launch. Mobile Choice spoke to INQ's chief executive Frank Meehan about the INQ1 and, although he was only prepared to divulge a few details about the phone, we do know that it will be an HSDPA enabled slider, with a deeply intergrated Facebook application. Although Facebook is accessible with other mobile phones, Meehan said that the INQ1's homescreen will automatically display new photos friends post on their Facebook profiles. He added that the device will also offer fast access to Skype, email, instant messaging and social networking capabilities. He also hinted that the INQ1 would offer a "better browsing experioence that the Skypephone 2".
"People are only really prepared to pay data charges for email, instant messaging and social networking and the prepay market doesn't have many devices that can give them that," said Meehan.
"The Skypephone has kept prepay customers incredibly loyal to 3 because if you stopped topping up, you stopped getting Skype. The INQ1 should do the same."