INQ is expected to break its 3 exclusivity, and launch its new Chat 3G handset on multiple networks, Mobile News understands.
The new INQ Chat 3G device, the first to feature a full QWERTY keyboard, is expected to launch on 3 this month. INQ is understood to be close to agreeing deals with a number of other UK network operators wishing to stock its handsets for the first time. INQ was unavailable for comment at press.
The Chat 3G, styled like a BlackBerry or Nokia E72, is to retail for less
than £100 on prepay, or free on contract from £15 per month, including unlimited data. 3 customers will be able to make unlimited
free calls to other 3 customers via the handset using Skype, regardless of credit.
The handset is pitched at the consumer social networking market.
It includes a two megapixel camera and 120MB of internal memory, expandable to 8GB through microSD card. Other features include integrated and bespoke Facebook and Twitter applications, which can include live widgets on the home screen to allow live feed information.
It also offers free push email with a Gmail account, and deploys an Opera browser INQ claims renders a better browsing experience than more expensive devices.
The launch handset has red casing, but INQ is to make available interchangeable covers for users to swap in.
INQ chief Frank Meehan (pictured) said: “Frankly, there isn’t a good internet phone for under £100. Everything out there at that price point is 2G, ugly or a nightmare to use. The INQ Chat 3G is the fi rst phone you can give to a teenager and they can throw text, IM, email, Facebook and Twitter at and it can cope because it’s built for that type of use.”