Market Insight

3UK taps into youth social networks

November 17, 2008

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Hutchinson Whampoa subsidary, INQ, has revealed its first device, the INQ1, a handset with specific focus on mobile social networking. Dubbed the 'Facebook phone', the device offers one-click access to the social networking site and live updates on the front of the screen. INQ1 is to be offered exclusively with 3 and includes Skype, Windows Live Messenger and alongside Facebook. The handset is set to launch in the UK before Christmas. It will be available for 'free' on a £15 monthly contract, which includes unlimited access to the web and email, unlimited texting, free Skype-to-Skype calling, unlimited calls to 3 mobiles and 75 minutes of calls to other networks. The contract length is 18 months. A pay-as-you-go version of the handset can also be purchased for £79.99 and data packages are available from £5.


Coming just days after Facebook announced that its mobile users had tripled since the start of the year to 15m, 3 is clearly looking to profit from the popularity of the site. The low cost of the handset, both on and off contract, coupled with the social networking aspect targets the youth market. Nokia's CWM, also on release for the Christmas period is equally marketed as a youth proposition. 3UK is not offering the cheaper, more youth specific, 5310 CWM handset (available at the Carphone Warehouse), but rather then N95 on a higher £35 contract. CWM is more expensive than the INQ1, however, CWM includes unlimited music downloads. It remains to be seen whether the opportunity to download unlimited music tracks legally for free will prove more or less popular than free mobile social networking.

3 UK
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