INQ Goes to Singapore

by Ben Smith on 14th September 2009

Just days after announcing they’re working on Android based handsets, INQ have announced their first deal to supply handsets outside 3′s networks (also owned by parent company Hutchison Whampoa).  SingTel will be selling the new INQ Mini from this Saturday (19th September).  Reuters has the full story.

INQ Mini - Available from SingTel in Singapore from 19th September

INQ Mini - Available from SingTel in Singapore from 19th September

This is a colossal move for INQ – validating them as a ‘proper’ handset manufacturer – taking a significant step away from relying completely on its parent company and entering a small, but very discerning and demanding market…

I know first-hand from my time living in Singapore that your ‘handphone’ is a crucial fashion statement and Singaporeans are veracious consumers of technology.  Success (or failure) in this market will be crucial in convincing other operators to take up the new range and SingTel’s influence stretches far out of its island-state home.  In my view, the social networking features and attractive new look will be a winner there…

Although *ahem* wrong (although I prefer the term ‘almost right’)  in our prediction that the US market was first on INQ’s hit-list we remain convinced this is key a target for them… the SingTel announcement may be more to do with the speed of potential carrier partners.  This also means the Mini is now production-ready (we’ve only played with pre-release units to-date) so keep an eye on 3UK who will now be eyeing the Christmas market.

We’re still seeking out more news on the INQ Chat (INQ’s first QWERTY handset with an impressive, Blackberry-rivalling keyboard) which is MIA in today’s news.

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