The cat is already out of the bag; the S3 skypephone will be out and available by the end of the year according to 3's UK CEO and it is not too early.
By then, the iPhone version 3 will already have been out for more than a quarter and the INQ1 will already have been on the market for more than 15 months, an eternity for a modern mobile phone.
As usual, we've looked at the current INQ1, analysed it and came up with a list of suggestions for the next S3 smartphone that we believe will make it a killer phone.
By the end of the year, most phones, except for the cheapest ones, will have a touchscreen. The cheapest touchscreen smartphone right now is the T-Mobile Vairy Touch which is on sale for a very reasoanable £48.92, £40 less than the INQ1. If ZTE and T-Mobile can do it, then that's the least we could expect from INQ Mobile. We want at least a 3.2-inch screen capable of displaying 400x240 pixels which will make it perfect for web browsing and watching movies.
LG's success with the KS360 is partly due to the fact that it comes with a usable keyboard while being appropriately priced. A keyboard, whether physical or onscreen, is essential for the S2 skypephone's continuing success, especially if it wants to continue down the social media route. INQ Mobile could either opt for a keyboard that slides out on the side or below as with the Palm Pre. But chances are if they adopt a touchscreen, that they will go for a virtual version.
The INQ1 camera did not have any front facing camera which is vital to make video calls. Furthermore, the current camera on the phone, a 3.2-megapixel model, has been superseded as 5-megapixel models become the norm. Furthermore the INQ1 did not have any flash, which is a shame, especially as the phone is aimed at Facebook, Twitter and Myspace fans.
(4) Unlimited Internet/Text Plans
Not something that INQ1 could change, it has more to do with Three's positioning of the phone. As a social phone, it makes sense to bundle the next generation INQ phone with unlimited internet and text as it is currently the case on the £20 Texter and Internet package. The current deal which offers 200 any time any network minutes on a 18-month contract has been a hit especially as Three chose to offer the Blackberry-like Nokia E71 Grey smartphone, a rival that has dethrone the INQ1 at this price level.
We would dearly like to see WiFi capabilities on the INQ1 for obvious reasons as well as the possibility to accommodate dual microSD cards, a unique advantage over the other mobile phones. This would allow the phone to boost its memory capacity to up 32GB (two 16GB) for as little as £35, well beyond the current iPhone and other competitors. Finally, INQ1 could price the phone at £100 excluding top up as well as £20 per month on contract with unlimited text, skype, internet and 300 minutes anytime any network and it will easily be a hands-down winner.