INQ Mobile cancels Cloud Q to focus on others
Young phone maker INQ Mobile won't be launching its planned Cloud Q smartphone, ElectricPig learned. The phone, equipped with a hardware QWERTY keyboard, was cancelled so that the company can instead focus on other future products. The first of these is due to arrive in the second half of the year, a company spokesperson indicated.
Facebook phone group had to cut back expectations
The self-made Facebook phone nearly fell apart after the team tasked with designing it realized it wouldn't come close to challenging Apple at the time, a further exposé uncovered on Tuesday. The team, nicknamed "Slayer" based on shorthand for "Social Layer," had wanted to do everything from the OS to the hardware in-house, but AllThingsD understood that its costs and required knowledge quickly became "impossible." Such limitations led some in the team to think they would never have a device that could compete with the iPhone.
Android deals end September 7
Telus has lowered the price on one of its iPhones, and is running special promotions on several of its Android smartphones. The Canadian wireless provider is now selling the 16GB iPhone 4 for $99, down from its usual $159. It's simultaneously giving away Android smartphones from five different vendors for free with a three year contract in a time-limited deal that ends September 7.
Foursquare integrates with INQ handsets
Phone maker INQ has announced at TechCrunch's Disrupt conference that it will use Foursquare to provide its location-based content on handsets in the future. The Foursquare INQ phone will have Foursquare features built-in, including check-ins, places nearby, tips and to do as part of the company's API. The level of integration within Android is so high, in fact, that users won't need to fire up the app to check in or explore, said a Foursquare rep.
Cloud Touch features deep Facebook integration
After rumors last September that INQ and Facebook were co-developing a mobile handset with deep Facebook integration, the INQ Cloud Touch was officially unveiled in early February. Slashgear reports that the phone, which puts Facebook front and center of its Android OS but which does not carry official Facebook branding, is now up for UK pre-order. It is expected to ship on April 6.
Twitter CEO says no self-branded phone coming
During a keynote speech at MWC, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo dispelled any notions that the company is working on Twitter-branded cell phone. He did admit that 40 percent of all tweets originate from cell phones, however, according to a Monday MocoNews report. Costolo did talk about the need to better integrate Twitter into existing phone platforms, however.
HTC Facebook-oriented phone rumor revived for MWC
Rumors of a Facebook-oriented HTC phone were revived again with a rumor on Thursday. The Android phone wouldn't be branded as a full Facebook phone, like some rumors, but would reportedly have a shortcut button to get to the social network. Few other details are available from the FT source other than that it would show at Mobile World Congress next week.
INQ Cloud Touch, Cloud Q unveiled
INQ today confirmed plans for a jump into smartphone-level devices. The recently spotted Cloud Touch now uses Android underneath and is designed to put Facebook at the front of the OS. While it's not an official Facebook phone, it puts the social network's chat, contacts, events, notices, places and the news feed at the front through widgets and shortcuts.
Launch date remains unclear
INQ's Cloud Touch handset has surfaced at the Bluetooth SIG for qualification tests, suggesting the device is one step closer to arriving on the market. The listing also provides a brief description of the device, which is already expected to maintain a focus on Facebook functionality. The Android-based smartphone is said to be designed for "faster and smarter" messaging, with Facebook "built into its core."
Facebook phone effort said kept off campus
Facebook's repeatedly denied phone platform project is in development but is being deliberately kept out of sight to the usual team, a rumor claimed today. The plan, which would customize Android with deeper integration into Facebook, is supposedly being kept in a building away from the social network's Palo Alto office. SAI's tip maintained that Facebook VP of Growth, Mobile and International Chamath Palihapitiya was heading up the project.
AT&T deal said to be not yet final
Amid a variety of report surrounding Facebook's plans to develop a mobile platform, additional details of a Facebook handset have emerged. Earlier rumors claimed the device, known to be built by INQ, will be headed for Europe in the first half of 2011, with a US launch set for AT&T. A GigaOM report, however, suggests that the AT&T deal is not yet final and the devices are not likely to appear in such a short time-frame.
INQ tipped to be producing the handsets
A new report by Bloomberg has suggested that Facebook is working closely with mobile handset manufacturer INQ to deliver a Facebook mobile phone. Deep social media integration is already included in INQ’s devices with Facebook an ‘always on’ feature. Once a user sets up a Facebook account on an INQ handset, even after re-boot, the device will automatically re-establish a connection with Facebook. One of the INQ Facebook phones is expected to be text-centric, featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, while the other will incorporate a virtual keyboard on its touch screen.
Facebook's Zuckerberg clarifies phone rumors
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in a talk this evening hoped to address the persistent rumors of a Facebook-branded phone. He expanded on the original denials and stressed that the social network wasn't trying to build hardware or get especially deep integration. Facebook wants to be a platform and not the device itself, Zuckerberg said to TechCrunch.
Facebook wants own device
(Updated with Facebook response, below) Facebook may be designing its own phone if a rumor emerging on Sunday is accurate. The project would follow the familiar strategy of contracting a company to build the hardware while Facebook works on the software. It would integrate the social network into the deepest levels of the phone, such as making a call to a Facebook friend rather than just a phone number, according to TechCrunch.
INQ to launch first Android phone before 2011
The CEO of INQ Mobile, Frank Meehan, said in a GigaOM interview on Thursday that his company would release its first Android-powered touchscreen handset in the fall of 2010. The London-based company will switch to offering nothing but Android handsets, moving away from the current BREW OS-based handsets. INQ will focus on mid-range Android phones, slotting in below HTC's and on par with Sony Ericsson, LG and Samsung.
UK provider 3 adds INQ Mini 3G phone to lineup
The Mini 3G handset introduced by INQ earlier this summer is now being offered by wireless provider 3. The candybar handset is meant for younger owners heavily involved in social networking, as it can be customized with body covers in eight different colors and has shortcuts for access to Facebook, IM programs, Skype and Twitter.
Spotify-branded, INQ-made phone coming to Telia
Online streaming music service Spotify will soon begin offering a self-branded handset in its home country of Sweden, says a Thursday TechCrunch report. Spotify has reportedly teamed up with the country's telecommunications and cable provider, Telia, which will bring the handset and new Spotify-branded services for TV and computers.
INQ confirms Android move
INQ late Thursday confirmed through a speech at the Mobilize conference that the company's next wave of phones would use Android. Company chief Frank Meehan provided few details but said INQ would have "pretty cool things" in store for these devices. As current INQ phones use proprietary but conventionally limited operating systems, though, the move would have INQ enter into smartphones for the first time and give it access to full third-party apps as well as Google's full feature set.
INQ intros two 3G phones
UK phone maker INQ Mobile on Tuesday announced it will soon offer two new 3G handsets that will bring quick access to social networking site Twitter, push Gmail compatibility and the capability to sync via iTunes on PCs and, in a rare instance Macs. The INQ Chat 3G is the provider's first QWERTY phone while the INQ Mini 3G sports the more traditional candybar form factor with number pad. The phone are sold on pre-paid plans, and Twitter compatibility is new to either, as previous handsets from INQ had support for Facebook, Skype and instant messaging programs.