INQ to release Android phone next year

INQ Mobile plans to introduce its own Android-based phone in 2010, according to INQ CEO Frank Meehan. The announcement pits a company best known for making Facebook- and Twitter-centric phones against larger, more well-established Android competitors such as HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung.

Frank Meehan INQHowever, Meehan argued that the company's relatively small stature would be an asset. "We can beat Nokia and Sony Ericsson and Motorola at this ... we're small, we're nimble and we're fast," Meehan boasted in an interview with

Meehan said that, besides licensing Palm's webOS platform, Android seemed the most logical fit for the company, given its desire to focus on touchscreen devices. INQ, which is based in London and a wholly owned subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, previously revealed plans to release several new phones in overseas markets next month, but has not yet made any specific announcements about the U.S. market.

Meehan said that will soon change. He said the company is making headway on plans for "the sub-$49 and under market in the U.S." However, in choosing Android, he said the company would turn its attention to a higher-end market segment, more of "the $79-$99-$199 on two-year-contract range."

And how will INQ--the little company that won the best mobile handset award in February at the GSMA Awards at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona for its INQ1 handset--change Android? For one, it will look to customize the platform with social networking synchronization technology. Further, Meehan said the Android Market needs to be changed and improved--by Google or someone else.

For more:
- see this GigaOM post
- see this article

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