Newcomer to mobile device market wins GSMA handset award

Low-cost social network focused ‘Inq 1’ beats devices from BlackBerry and Nokia

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By  George Bevir in Barcelona Published  February 19, 2009

A low-end handset that combines social networking sites with the regular functions of a handset has picked up the award for the best mobile handset at this year’s GSMA awards in Barcelona.

The INQ1 handset, which is expected to retail for $50 when it goes on sale later this year in the US, integrates the contact details from sites such as Facebook into the phone’s address book, with a permanent connection between the phone and the internet.

A spokeswoman for Inq Mobile said the handset company is in talks with operators in the Middle East, but she could not say which country in the region the device will be available in first.

“I can’t make a prediction on when it will ship to the Middle East but the region is definitely part of the roll out plan,” she said.

The Inq 1 device fought off competition for the GSMA award from T-Mobile´s Android powered G1 device, BlackBerry´s Storm and Nokia´s E71.

Inq Mobile is wholly owned by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa which has 10 3G networks around the world operating under the “3” brand.

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