the grass is greener on the internet

INQ1: the Facebook phone
February 17, 2009, 7:12 pm
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

When the iPhone was released in Australia, there was a lot of debate about adoption rates. With only Vodafone and Optus offering it, even a Vodafone salesperson I spoke to told me the services didn’t fit the phone.

The pick-up has been moderate, mostly by Apple fanatics, but nowhere near what it could be if the services DID fit.

So I’m interested to see how 3’s first phone will do…

I’ve been wanting to see a combined phone manufacturer and service provider for ages – hardware and services make up about half of the customer experience each, how can you leave half to someone else?

3 made its backwards integration experiment through the new subsidiary INQ, with the first phone the INQ1 to be distributed solely through 3 in a similar manner to the Skypephone. Maybe 3 is the carrier in the best position to offer features like Skype at a profit – instead of charging call rates they can charge for data.

[EDIT: Just heard that Nokia is creating phones with a Skype application…look out!]

Unfortunate then that 3 is disbanding internationally, with Vodafone recently acquiring the Australian branch (does this mean we’ll finally get the data plans the iPhone needs?).

Still, it doesn’t mean that INQ is necessarily doomed…and it would be a pity, because the INQ1 is the first phone to be based around an online platform, namely Facebook.

That’s right – it syncs all contact information around your Facebook account, allowing you to see profile pictures and status updates in the same screen as your list of phone numbers. (Maybe that’s how Facebook is making its money these days.)

It will be one of a limited number of phones apart from the iPhone  to offer a variety of widgets including RSS feeds, Skype and Windows Live Messenger. It’s nowhere near as pretty and a touch screen doesn’t come standard but it’s also nowhere near as pricey.

I have one concern though: Facebook’s recent change in Terms of Service.

I haven’t been able to find any info on whether personal data synced with Facebook on the INQ1 will only be stored on the phone or whether it will also be relayed to Facebook’s servers.

If information is in fact sent to Facebook, then under the new TOS it will be their property forever.

Imagine if Facebook not only has your birthday, your education, your list of friends, interests and photos…but also all of your call records, personal SMS and appointments?

What if they’re keeping all of it?

Worse, using it?

What if that data gets lost?

[EDIT: As of 18/2, Facebook has reverted their TOS and is taking feedback from users. If you didn’t like it, make sure you have your say…]


1 Comment so far
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the fact that Facebook change their TOS back so quickly is like an admission that they knew they were wrong

Comment by Joe

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