Another sign that making Facebook-centric hardware is a bad idea: INQ Mobile calls it quits


If you don’t remember INQ Mobile’s handsets it's because they weren’t really successful - despite the fact that some had been designed to be Facebook phones (after an official collaboration with the giant social network).

INQ today is closing its doors, six years after it had opened its business in the UK. The company started by making several social-networking-ready feature phones back in 2009. Its moment of glory, if we may say so, was the unveiling of the INQ Cloud Touch, a 3.5-inch Android Froyo smartphone that featured deep Facebook integration.

The Cloud Touch (pictured on the right) was released in 2011, only in the UK, and didn’t sell well. After that, INQ refocused its efforts on developing mobile software - obviously also related to Facebook and other social networking services. The company launched Material (a news reader akin to Flipboard) and SO.HO (a Facebook and Twitter content aggregator). As it turns out, these couldn’t help INQ, either. The company will no longer update these applications. However, a support page for its handsets will remain available via its official website.

INQ isn’t the only company that bet on Facebook-centric products without winning. HTC also released smartphones that featured deep Facebook integration: HTC Salsa, HTC ChaCha, and the newer HTC First (launched last year). All have failed, sales-wise - a good indication that, if you’re a hardware maker, you probably want to stay away from developing devices which are too focused on Facebook-related features.

source: INQ via Android Police, Tech Crunch

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