3 Launches INQ1 Social Networking Phone

INQ1.jpgKids today. They live and breathe Facebook, eat MySpace for breakfast and sleep in a bed made from Twitter tweets. That's why they're going to flock to the new INQ1 phone like tabloid journalists to Stephanie Rice's Facebook profile.

The INQ1 (which is made by INQ, a new mobile phone manufacturer backed by Hutchison Whampoa) brings Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, Skype and email to the core of the user interface, as well has supporting RSS feeds and widgets for other social networks. The phone itself is a HSDPA-enabled handset with a 3.2MP camera, 2.2-inch QVGA screen, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and up to 324 minutes talk time and 327 hours standby. It weighs in at 100 grams and measures 47.6 x 14.4 x 97.0mm. It has upgradable memory to 4GB, comes in silver or black and has a two-year warranty.

If this sounds like your kind of social experience, the INQ1 will cost $179 on 3 prepaid, or available on contract from $39 a month, which includes a heap of stuff like free Skype to Skype calls.

Full presser is below for all you young'uns and Facebook addicts.

3 Launches World's Most Advanced Social Networking Phone

INQ - a new Hutchison Whampoa-backed handset manufacturer launches INQ1 , the world's first Social Mobile INQ1 integrates Facebook™ into the heart of the handset along with Email, Skype and Windows Live Messenger Exclusive to 3 with great value and a 2 year warranty

SYDNEY, 14 NOVEMBER 2008 - 3 Australia today announced that it will exclusively offer INQ1, the world's most advanced social networking mobile phone, and bring Facebook to the core of the user experience. With over 250,000 visits to Facebook on the mobile by 3 Australia's customers each week, social networking on 3 is set to grow as the experience improves significantly with the release of the INQ1.

Expected in Australian stores in time for Christmas, INQ brings the Facebook experience to the HSDPA-enabled INQ1 with one-click access and the first ever live address book with friends' Facebook status and profile picture displayed against their contact details. Facebook users can also blog pictures taken with the phone's 3.2 megapixel camera straight to their pages.

Taking internet communications to the mobile, INQ1 also features integrated applications like Email, Skype, Windows Live Messenger and RSS feeds, in addition to a host of other social networking and sharing tools the user can customise.

INQ1 will be $179 on 3 Prepaid when customers purchase one of 3's new Prepaid Caps recharge vouchers starting at $29. 3's new Prepaid Caps give customers the ability to choose how they use their Cap value - on talk, text or data.

Customers can also get INQ1 on a contract for only $39 per month. With this plan customers receive $310 Cap value, 1GB of data, 4,000 Skype-to-Skype minutes, 10,000 Skype chats and much more each month. INQ1, only available on 3, will also come with a 2-year warranty.

INQ1, developed by the new handset manufacturer INQ Mobile, is based on a new approach to mobile phone design. Backed by Hutchison Whampoa, INQ has developed INQ1 in collaboration with the 3 Group in an effort to overcome the limitations of traditional design and Internet functionality on handsets.

Frank Meehan, CEO, INQ, said: "The INQ1 is the first device from INQ with a new take on mobile user experience. It's 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 email. The INQ1 allows people for the first time to integrate their internet networks into their mobile so now their emails, instant messages and Skype calls are as simple to use as voice and text."

"With our Hutchison Whampoa backing we've got the experience of providing compelling mobile internet services to nearly 20 million 3G customers around the world. This experience has taught us that traditional handset manufacturers just aren't delivering what customers are demanding and so we've had to develop our own, unique device in order to overcome this."

With millions of people accessing social media via mobile phones, 3 believes the combination of the handset, its capability and great value pricing, will provide easy and affordable access to mobile internet services on an unparalleled level.

"Customers are increasingly using Facebook on the mobile and in the last six months we've seen access to Facebook on 3 more than double," Nigel Dews, CEO, 3, said. "With the way that we are packaging the INQ1, we are bringing unheard of value for an internet communications phone to consumers."

"Customers on 3 are discovering Facebook on their mobile, and that discovery is going to get faster and easier with INQ1. It delivers a Facebook experience like no other. Our customers want innovative devices that connect them to the services they are used to on their PC and at great value, and with the addition of INQ1 to 3's handset line-up we've truly innovated the social networking experience and taken it one step further," he said.

"We are really happy to be working with INQ to bring its customers a deeply-integrated Facebook experience on the new INQ1 handsets," said Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook: "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 as people become even more familiar with handsets like the INQ1."

Commenting on the INQ1, Chris Lewis, Head of Asia Operations at Skype said: "We are thrilled with the Skype experience that the INQ1 delivers, and it's just another step towards our goal of giving Skype users even more options to access Skype while on the go."

"The INQ1brings Windows Live Messenger, Australia's most popular instant messaging service, to mobile. Using Windows Live Messenger on the INQ1, people can chat with friends even when they're away from their computer," said Dean Capobianco, Director of Mobile at ninemsn.

INQ1 will be available in Australia in time for Christmas and is also launching in other 3 countries including the UK. INQ1 will be able to be purchased exclusively from 3 Stores and Dealers, online at www.three.com.au and through 3 Direct.

To pre-register your interest in INQ1 go to www.three.com.au/inq from Friday, 14th November.

Notes to Editors INQ1 functionality -With a 3.2 megapixel camera, MP3 player, mobile TV, internet, INQ1 totally transforms the social networking experience. Plus it's small and comes in silver and black. INQ1 also includes;

Weight: 100g Size: 47.6 x 14.4 x 97.0mm Battery: up to 327 hours (standby), up to 324 minutes (talktime) application dependent Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB 2.0 Camera: 3.2 Megapixel Music: MP3 player Network: HSDPA enabled Speaker phone Screen Size: 2.2" QVGA (240 x 320) Screen Colour: 262k TFT Handset colour: Silver or Black Internal Memory: 50MB External Memory: Expandable to 4GB Warranty: 24 months Applications: Facebook, Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Email RSS support and Widget support

Handset includes

Battery 1150mAH Mains charger Personal stereo hands free kit USB cable CD-ROM for PC connection and USG Welcome card and help cards

* Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, INQ, INQ1 and 3 are all registered trademarks.

About 3 3 is Australia's first 3G network and provides services to more than 1.81 million customers in Australia. Since launch in 2003, 3 has been servicing businesses with great value voice and data services as well as innovative tools like Mobile Broadband, Business Shared Caps, Mobile Email and other business services and content in 3's Broadband Zones.

Three facts about 3: > 3 launched Australia's first 3G mobile network in April 2003, now fully HSDPA enabled, and has over 1.81 million customers in Australia and 19 million customers worldwide. 3 was also the first operator to launch cap plans in Australia in 2003.

> During the first half of 2008, customers generated 82.6 million internet access and Planet 3 events and 65% of 3's customers paid for these services each month.

> 3's Broadband Zones are available in most parts of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and the Gold Coast. We reach 96% of Australians with Talk, SMS, MMS, IM and Email. In the first half of 2009, 3 will provide customers with access to 3G services in areas covering 96% of the population.

About INQ INQ Mobile is a standalone company wholly owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited. INQ Mobile is the maker of the INQ¹, the world's first Social Mobile to integrate email, IM and social networking in an intuitive way. INQ draws on the strengths of its parent company, which made an early investment in global 3G networks based on a fundamental belief that 3G changes the way people communicate and was formed to address a growing need for advanced mobile internet handsets from operators across the world.

For more information visit www.inqmobile.com.