UPDATE 1-Aircel to sell INQ mobiles in India

* India’s Aircel to sell two INQ Mobile models

* Firms tapping mobile social networking boom

* INQ enters first major market outside Hutchison group

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By Devidutta Tripathy and Tarmo Virki

NEW DELHI/HELSINKI, March 16 (BestGrowthStock) – India’s Aircel will
sell the two latest handset models of British phone maker INQ
Mobile as they try to tap surging demand for mobile social
networking in the fastest growing major mobile market.

The deal is a milestone for INQ Mobile, a unit of Hong
Kong’s Hutchison Whampoa (0013.HK: ), which so far has sold its
phones mostly through Hutchison’s operators in different
countries.

The INQ Mini 3G and the INQ Chat 3G will be available later
this week, the companies said.

INQ is benefiting from its early move to make cheaper phones
for connecting to social networks and the Internet in general —
a move large handset makers such as Nokia Oyj (NOK1V.HE: ) and
Motorola Inc (MOT.N: ) are only now following.

INQ models integrate key features of Facebook and other
social networking sites into the phone’s address book, removing
the need to separately log on to the service.

The INQ Mini 3G is the first mass-market phone with an
Internet-based Twitter client. The phone will use Internet
connections for sending the 140-character messages, called
Tweets.

User numbers of mobile Facebook grew more than five-fold in
India last year, with the country’s top social networking site
Orkut (GOOG.O: ) seeing almost three-fold growth, according to
Opera Software (OPERA.OL: ), maker of the most used mobile browser
in India.

Investing Tools
(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Tarmo Virki; Editing by
David Holmes)

UPDATE 1-Aircel to sell INQ mobiles in India