There has been talk for a long time that an Android phone designed around Facebook has been in development by INQ. At first, the rumor was that Facebook was building their own phone, but it later morphed into the idea that Facebook was working with INQ Mobile to release two Android phones based around deep Facebook integration. That rumor has been proven true with the announcement of the INQ Cloud Touch and Cloud Q.
Both phones have a new Facebook oriented wrapper UI designed around commonly used Facebook activities and services, with Android 2.2 running underneath all of that, including full Android Market support, based on what we've seen.
At the top of the screen are four icons, consisting of People, Events, Notifications, and Places. In the middle of the screen is a news feed space which takes up about half the screen. Also, the default music player is replaced with Spotify, which will work well in much of Europe, but it remains to be seen how they will approach this matter in the US and other countries where Spotify is not available.
The Cloud Touch features a mid-low range 600MHz Qualcomm processor (same as in the ZTE Racer and X10 Mini), 3.5" HVGA (480 x 320) display, powerful loudspeaker, and a 5MP camera.
The specs on the Cloud Q are not as defined, but I would assume the internals are similar, if not identical. Judging from this picture, on the outside, it has a candybar form factor with a Blackberry-like layout, meaning a small landscape touchscreen at the top and a QWERTY keyboard below.
Availability for the Cloud Touch and Cloud Q will be sometime in May for international markets (Europe presumably) and a timeframe for the US launch was said to be sometime after. Engadget reports that the UK may see the Touch available as soon as April.
TechCrunch indicates that the price for the phone on contract should be very cheap (possibly as low as $50), and that off-contract, it may be as low as $250, but that the pricing has not yet been finalized.
TechCrunch managed to get a video interview with an employee from INQ who showed off his INQ Touch and some of its feature, which you can view here. Engadget also has done a quick hands-on video of the phone here.
It appears that INQ is just the first of what will likely be many companies who plan on lauching a smartphone based around the Facebook experience, so expect to see this segment expand in the next several months.
Image from Engadget