This is turning out to be a Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android kind of day at GigaOm’s Mobilize event in San Francisco. This morning Motorola (NYSE: MOT) unveiled its Android strategy called BLUR, which aggregates social networks, and T-Mobile USA said it will be the exclusive carrier for Moto’s first device called CLIQ. Now, INQ Mobile has surprised us by announcing that the Hutchison Whampoa-owned company will make phones on the Google Android OS.
As you may remember, INQ Mobile is known for building phones with tight integration with services, first with Skype and now with Facebook and other social nets. The phones tend to be lower-end and are often free on contract. Carriers like them because they encourage data usage among users in the lower tier, however, INQ has failed to yet crack the U.S. market.
INQ’s CEO Frank Meehan said on stage today that he agreed with what Motorola’s devices CEO Sanjay Jha said earlier in the day — Google Android is the obvious choice when looking for a modern-day mobile operating system. Meehan: “When you look at who do you select, you come to Android.” But he said Android also has its challenges. “Currently Android phones on networks that are selling against the iPhone have not performed well. You need to get the experience better.”
Will the phones be lower-end feature phones? Meehan wouldn’t say. “We