3 Australia today announced that it will exclusively offer the INQ mobile phone in Australia.
Claimed to be "the world's most advanced social networking mobile phone", INQ1 combines mobile telephony with social networking, offering one-click access to a range of social networking and messaging services including Facebook, Skype and Windows Live Messenger.
Developed by handset manufacturer INQ Mobile, owned by Hutchinson Whampoa, INQ1 has a live address book with friends' Facebook status and profile pictures displayed with their contact details. Facebook users can post pictures taken with the phone's camera straight to their profile.
"We are really happy to be working with INQ to bring its customers a deeply integrated Facebook experience on the new INQ1", said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. "More than 15 million Facebook users currently access the site through their mobile devices and we expect it to continue to grow as people become even more familiar with handsets like the INQ1."
In addition to Facebook, INQ1 also comes with a number of integrated applications including e-mail and an RSS feed reader. Its e-mail, instant messaging and Skype features can be accessed in a similar fashion to voice calls and text.
"The INQ1 is about taking the things people love most about the Internet and building them into the very heart of the phone. Mobile is still mostly about voice and text for the vast majority of users, but those same people use the Internet to communicate every day with Skype, instant messaging, Facebook and e-mail", said Frank Meehan, INQ's CEO.
INQ1 will be available in Australia exclusively from 3 stores and dealers, online and through 3 Direct. The handset will be available before Christmas on prepaid for $179, or on a post-paid contract for $39 per month. The latter includes $310 worth of calls and text, 1GB of mobile data, 4000 Skype-to-Skype minutes and 10,000 Skype chats per month.