Facebook has been denying rumors that they are preparing a self-branded phone to compete with Apple and Google. Instead, they say their horizontal approach is focused on developing deeper integration of their social platform into all types of phones by forming partnerships with cellphone manufacturers. One of their partners, INQ Mobile, has just given a sneak peak of a pre-production Android-based phone that is deeply Facebook integrated.
INQ Mobile, a UK-based startup, demoed their first Facebook integrated phone at the offices of TechCrunch. The phone will be called the INQ Cloud Touch and a version with a qwerty keyboard is planned to be called the INQ Cloud Q. The phone is built on Android with a Facebook wrapper placing the social features, such as Facebook news feeds, front and center.
INQ Mobile intends to launch the phone internationally by May and then in the U.S. soon after. The INQ Cloud Touch may come in at under $50 with contract, a price point geared towards perhaps a cheaper teen market. However, pricing information is not yet finalized.