Three to launch new social phone – integrates Facebook, Live Messenger & Skype

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3 Australia will be releasing another phone to Australia that will integrate Skype, but will also include integration with popular IM Windows Live Messenger and social network Facebook in attempt to create a more social-friendly phone. Called the INQ1 – pronounced as “ink one”, the phone is expected to be around by Christmas.

The phone is, according to The Guardian, based around an open platform, meaning that any site wishes to have their social network on the phone, they will be able to do so. The phone will also support Flash Lite, something that the more-powerful Apple iPhone does not have. At the time of writing, the phone has one-touch access to Facebook and Last.FM – with Skype and Windows Live Messenger as IM clients. YouTube and eBay, however, can be accessed via 3’s mobile portal.

The phone features MP3 support, a 2.2-inch QVGA screen with 262K TFT colour, HSDPA support, Bluetooth and a 3.2 megapixel camera. The phone will come in either silver or black, and will have an internal memory capacity of 50MB, but that is expandable to 4GB on an unspecified storage card. According to 3, the battery life for the phone is up to 327 hours standby and 324 minutes of talktime.

The phone will be available under contract from 3 for only $39 per month. Under this, customers get a $310 cap value, 1GB of data, 4,000 minutes of Skype-to-Skype minutes and 10,000 Skype chats – among other things. The phone is also protected by a 2-year warranty. However, if you don’t like contracts; the phone will also be available under Prepaid, costing $179 when you purchase one of the new Prepaid Cap recharge vouchers – which start off at $29.