INQ planning new phones for 2012

But INQ Cloud Q could be scrapped

INQ has told TechRadar that it's committed to releasing new handsets in the future, but the current Android patent wars have forced the company into a slight re-think.

The company has already released the INQ Cloud Touch into the UK market, and this was supposed to be followed up by the INQ Cloud Q - but Frank Meehan, the recently departed CEO of INQ, said the company is still deciding whether to release the QWERTY-enabled device:

"At this stage we're examining the sales of devices like HTC ChaCha has had - BlackBerry is still dominant in the QWERTY sector so we're still evaluating whether we launch the INQ Cloud Q."

Patent problems

Meehan also said the recent patent wars - which have seen Google purchase Motorola in a bid to beef up its patent portfolios - have had an effect on the company's strategy, along with what he calls 'hardware accelerating out of sight':

"We hope to have more handsets over the next year, but there are very big patent wars in the market, with big battles to face which carry a high cost of engagement - watching it is fascinating.

"The market will evolve quickly, but hardware is accelerating out of sight - in the future there will be no mobile market, just a screen; and what design can you really do when the device is essentially just a screen?

"Patents have been a big issue - it's such a shame everyone is going into litigation over innovation. The legal issues cost a lot, so that's something we've got to evaluate. When we first started [producing Android phones] we weren't expecting such a strong level of patent issues - so now we're just watching and seeing what happens."