3Store has started to sell the just released INQ Chat 3G smartphone for as little as £15 on its Internet Texter tariff on an 18-month contract.
The phone, which is manufactured by 3's sister company, INQMobile, is the first one from the outfit to come with a dedicated QWERTY keyboard and aims to capture the attention of the growing crowd of Twitter addicts and other social networking websites users.
It comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera and comes with an expanded suite of INQ applications including Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Windows Live messenger. It is also bundled with free "push" Gmail and offers free tethered internet access.
The Internet Texter tariff offers unlimited texts, unlimited email, unlimited skype calls and unlimited calls to Three members. Unsurprisingly, the £15 package offers only 75 anytime, any network minutes. A more expensive £20 one ups the limit to 200 minutes.
Surprisingly, 3 is still selling its own Skypephone branded handsets despite INQ Mobile's range. It has just introduced another model, the entry level 3 Skypephone S2x which comes with a 2-megapixel camera and is targeted at the entry level.
The INQ Chat 3G will still be facing some tough competition even amongst the ranks of 3 Networks with the Nokia E63, the Sony Ericsson T715, the touchscreen Huawei U7510, all available on the same £15 tariff.
INQ Mobile needs to free itself from its exclusivity partnership with 3 Networks or otherwise it won't be able to sell significantly more mobile phones. Sadly, there's no way a customer can buy an unlocked or SIM free version.