The Android announcement you might have missed

SAN FRANCISCO — Motorola and T-Mobile had [the big news](/mobility/article.php/3838651/Cliq+Motorola+Finally+Makes+Its+Android+Play.htm) at last week’s Gigaom Mobilize conference. Motorola finally unveiled its strategy for a line of Android-based mobile devices and T-Mobile unveiled the first model, the Cliq, due out in the next few months.

But [upstart mobile provider INQ,]( made a bit of Android news of its own. During an onstage interview, INQ’s feisty CEO Frank Meehan, announced his company is going to use Android for devices in the works for release next year.

He didn’t provide many other details other than to indicate his company, whose phones are available in a handful of countries outside the US (the UK, Ireland, Australia, Italy and Hong Kong), will continue to target what he says is the 85 percent of the market the more expensive smartphone makers ignore.


While lauding the iPhone as “a beautiful consumer device” Meeham claims in Europe it’s primarily sold to consumers over 35. “The under-35 is an iPod market, but they can’t afford the iPhone, particularly in the UK. That’s a market that’s extremely hungry that we serve.”

Talking in general about mobile trends, Meehan said he expects devices that feature more interactivity and advances in touch input.

It’s innovate or die in the mobile space, according to Meehan. “You have to have a hit product every year and be forward thinking,” he said.

INQ’s approach is to think application rather than generic mobile device. INQ gained attention when it launched the so-called “Skype phone,” a mobile device that featured low-cost Skype calling as well as Facebook and Windows and Live Messenger built in. (*Photo by David Needle*)

Two other devices in the INQ stable are the Mini 3G “The pocket communicator for everyone” with Twitter and Facebook built in, Skype integration and application switching. There’s also the INQ Chat 3G, featuring free push Google GMail, integrated Twitter along with Facebook, Skype and IM.

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