Business Week has the details.
And oh, what interesting details they are.
INQ, a subsidiary of Hutchison, is going ballistic. On the back of the success of the S2 Skypephones, they’re lining up a big, big market challenge.
“We’re tired of paying a fortune for phones that are unusable,” says Frank Meehan, the chap in charge.
Unusable in the context of the internet.
Many of today’s handsets are simply telephones-without-wires with a bolted on piece-of-shit browser.
Think, for example, of your average Nokia WHAT-APN-WOULD-YOU-LIKE-TO-USE N95.
SHOULD I CONNECT NOW?
WHAT ABOUT NOW?
DO YOU… what, you want to CONNECT again? WHAT access point, please?
No, you’ll need to tell me again. WHAT ACCESS POINT?
In an always-on and always-connected (except when you’re sleeping) environment, today’s handsets certainly don’t cut it. The innovation’s historically been a bit rubbish.
Which is why INQ has most certainly caught my attention. They’re aiming to turn out affordable handsets (think $50 — £25) custom built with web and internet service support.
A case in point:
It has built into its phones new ways to use popular online services such as Facebook, eBay (EBAY), and Skype. For example, the company worked with Facebook so the INQ1 can automatically display on its home screen new photos friends post on their Facebook profiles. “This is the first time we are going to take the experience further than what we have on the iPhone and [BlackBerry],” says Henri Moissinac, manager of Facebook Mobile.
I wonder if we’ll be able to use the Facebook Address Book on the INQ? Now THAT would be cool.
Let’s watch this space intently.