Mobile phone manufacturer INQ is planning to launch a mass-market mobile phone with a built-in Twitter client, based on the increasingly mainstream interest in the microblogging service.
The pre-installed Twitter client would be Internet-based, rather than relying on SMS text messsaging to send and (restrictively) receive tweets.
INQ claims that, because the phone would cost operators less than $140, it will become the first mass-market phones to have such a client. Presumably the iPhone and other popular smartphones which can have one or more Twitter clients installed don’t count.
INQ Mobile already makes phones that can interface with Skype and Facebook, though again, that’s not particularly unique in itself. What’s more interesting is that the company is banking on the ongoing success of Twitter as one of its handset’s key selling points.
If Twitter ever folded, or became very unpopular, there would presumably be no way for users of the “Twitter phone” to switch to another service, whereas on other smartphones it would simply be a case of installing a different application.
As one of the smaller players in the mobile space, it will be interesting to see how well INQ Mobile does with this proposition.