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INQ Chat 3G Hits 3 as Vodafone Pulls HD2

Gordon Kelly

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INQ Chat 3G Hits 3 as Vodafone Pulls HD2

Easy come, easy go? Today sees one hotly anticipated smartphone launch and - perhaps more oddly - one hot smartphone prematurely withdrawn from sale.

First up the hotly anticipated INQ Chat 3G has finally launched on 3 more than two months after its little sibling, the Mini 3G. No reason was given for the delay (it's always software, always), but we're big fans of INQ's offerings to date such as the Skypephone S2 and INQ1 so our hopes are high.

As with the Mini 3G, the Chat 3G has a primary focus on social networking with Facebook, Twitter and Windows Live Messaging functionality natively integrated. Skype also makes an appearance too (handy with 3's free Skype initiative) and the handset will happily multi-task unlike some.

In terms of hardware, the Chat 3G is the most powerful INQ has produced so far with a 2.4in QVGA screen, 3.2MP camera, HSDPA and GPS. The 120MB of onboard memory can also be expanded to 8GB via the microSD slot. Perhaps most exciting, given the Chat 3G's target audience, is the addition of a physical Qwerty keyboard and it might just give entry level BlackBerrys a run for their money. Especially with 3 giving the Chat 3G away for just £99.99 on pre-pay and from free on contracts of just £15pm. Sounds like a steal to me.

Less happy today will be HTC after Vodafone confirmed it is dropping the rather excellent HD2 after just two months on sale. Vodafone hasn't elaborated on its decision, instead just banding around the statement: "There's been a great deal of interest since we made the HTC HD2 available to buy in November and our initial supply quickly sold out," which only serves to make the decision all the more bizarre.

Thankfully Vodafone isn't the only HD2 seller and rumour is it needs to make space in its inventory for the iPhone 3GS in 2010, but that seems a strange argument since you won't find many networks complaining about having too many quality phones. Odd, very odd indeed.

Links:

INQ Chat 3G Product Page

HD2 via Electric Pig

Hamish Campbell

December 11, 2009, 8:29 pm

Might be a deal with Apple.





The three store guy here in Denmark said they have an agreement, whereby if they pull out another phone for a customer as a possible purchase instead of the iPhone then Apple has the right to come and remove all iphones from 3 stores and cancel their agreement.





Gotta love the free market.

WyWyWyWy

December 11, 2009, 9:17 pm

Could it be that they are under pressure from Apple to remove the HD2?


Only speculation obviously.

Zishan

December 11, 2009, 11:10 pm

It sounds bizarre because it's apparently not true. The press release was misunderstood.





"..after contacting HTC we've been assured that this is not the case and that the wording of the email from Vodafone has been taken in the wrong context. A trusted HTC source has told us that, after contacting the Vodafone European team, they have confirmation that the HD will continue to be available through Vodafone even after backorders have been fulfilled."





coolsmartphone

lifethroughalens

December 11, 2009, 11:16 pm

Might not be a 'deal' as such.





More that Vodafone have committed to purchasing way too many iPhone handsets from Apple just at the point when the market's about to drop out...Tesco's are flogging them along with so many other retailers and rumours of the new iPhone (V4) will only be a couple of months away from surfacing. (If a June/July 2010 is on the cards).





It appears that Vodafone are trying to ensure that they don't threaten any potentially lucrative 18-24 month iPhone contract sales in the mean time. Personally, I think that Vodafone could get their fingers burned on this one.





In the mean time I moved from a 3G to an HD2, and it's been a pain and a steep learning curve...but I can safely say that it blows the iPhone out of the water as a communication device and I don't miss the dreaded App store one bit, nor iTunes for that matter. Good riddance :)

farki80

December 11, 2009, 11:35 pm

Wouldn't be surprised if it was Apple doing. Their behaviour is very similar to Microsoft's in the 1990s.





Regulators need to look into this.

Mo

December 12, 2009, 12:44 am

I used to always defend vodafone and stick with their inflated price plans, but I am getting sick and tired of the crap they pull.

xenos

December 12, 2009, 12:56 am

"Might be a deal with Apple.





The three store guy here in Denmark said they have an agreement, whereby if they pull out another phone for a customer as a possible purchase instead of the iPhone then Apple has the right to come and remove all iphones from 3 stores and cancel their agreement.





Gotta love the free market."





*COUGH* Intel/AMD

gunholio

December 12, 2009, 12:57 am

"unlike some"


Do you mean, and is it true that the piephone can't multitask?





Someone once told me that, but a friend has one and claims it can. And on the Palm Pre tv add they have a dig, saying you can, again, unlike some.





BTW i'm a happy E71 user (but the "mouse-pad" thumb button thingy on the E72 looks tasty ;) and never considered a piephone (big bloated thing)

stripy

December 12, 2009, 5:03 am

@farki80 - couldn't agree more. I've never been an apple fan but since getting a 3GS a few weeks ago they make my blood boil. I mean really, charging me to use my own songs as a ringtone? Really?! If Microsoft tried to pull a stunt like that they'd be crucified - by the press and regulators. I get the distinct impression that one never truely owns an iphone, Steve Jobs owns it. He just lets you use it...for some things...if He wants you to...and if you're willing to pay extra for it.

Jay4d0

December 12, 2009, 11:18 pm

@gunholio: your friend is wrong, you can listen to your music and do other things but that's it, you can't read your email while waiting for a skype call or do anything without stopping your music from spotify.





@stripy: lol I agree

jingyeow

December 12, 2009, 11:57 pm

This phone has Twitter built into the phone. Where is the Twitter promised for my INQ!!


Granted I never use Twitter. But I want the option to install it and never use it!

TheVoice

December 13, 2009, 12:27 am

Latest I saw on this earlier today was that the HD2 would now be for business customers only. When I spoke to someone from Vodafone earlier (about changing my tariff) I mentioned the HD2 and she said "Yeah we're not doing that one any more". I also requested my PAC at the same time for that very reason; I'll probably be switching to T-Mobile and getting the HTC Hero, another brilliant device Vodafone have seen fit not to bother with.

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