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3 launches INQ1 Facebook mobile phone

First handset designed for social networking

3 mobile INQ1 Facebook phone

Mobile network 3 has unveiled what it claims is the ‘world’s most advanced social networking phone’ – the INQ1 (pronounced ink-one).

It’s the first phone from INQ, a new handset manufacturer, and integrates Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and Last.fm into the phone. The INQ1 is a slider phone, and features include a 3.2Mp camera, 2.2inch display and High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) supporting data speeds of up to 3.6Mbps. 

This is the latest high-profile mobile launch, following Apple’s 3G iPhone, the T-Mobile Android G1, Samsung Omnia  and Sony’s Xperia. as phones get ever more feature-laden and interactive. Which? will have a First Look review of the INQ1 later in the year.

Interactive live contact book

3 claim that the INQ1 will give one-click access to Facebook, and live updates will be pushed to the handset screen so you can find out which of your friends have poked each other or commented on your status as soon as it happens.

The network is billing the phone as the ‘first ever real-time interactive, live contact book with friends’ online status and Facebook profile pictures displayed against their contact details’. For consumers who want to stay connected, the phone also offers integrated RSS feeds, free Skype-to-Skype calling and unlimited free instant messenger capabilities.

The INQ1 is exclusive to the 3 network, but expect other networks and manufacturers to follow suit with similar models, as the social networking phenomenon gathers momentum.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said: ‘More than 15 million Facebook users currently access the site through their mobile devices. This number has doubled over the past six months, and we expect it to continue to grow.’

Free INQ1 on £15 tariffs

According to 3 the INQ1 phone will be available free on a contract tariff from £15 per month offering unlimited free Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and web access, plus 75 minutes of calls to other networks, unlimited texts, unlimited email and unlimited free 3-to-3 calls. Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) pricing is predicted to be £79.99 for the handset, with internet packages available from £5 per month.

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