INQ Android tablet, CEO spills plans

Exclusive: An INQ Android tablet is “definitely” on the cards, according to the company’s CEO, who’s been watching the recent slew of Android flavoured iPad wannabes with interest. Read on for what he told us.

We spoke to INQ’s CEO, Frank Meehan, ahead of the launch of the INQ Cloud Touch Android phone, and asked bluntly whether INQ had any plans to produce its own INQ Android tablet. His answer? “We have, definitely,” he told us.

“Tablets are a very strong market,” he said. “I would say during the day my iPad and my INQ phone are the two things I don’t really want to be parted with…I can see the iPad is becoming an essential part of my life.”

If this INQ Android tablet is on the roadmap however, it’s a way off still: Meehan poured scorn on the current crop of Android slates. “The customer isn’t having a great experience at the moment” with Android tablets, he said, going on to pan the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the first real high profile iPad rival. “The 7-inch thing didn’t really go for me.”

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“CES [The Consumer Electronics Show, held in January every year] was kind of amusing…you’ve got a whole bunch of manufacturers slapping each other on the back, then iPad comes out, slams them, then they spend the whole year rearranging their product roadmap,” he said.

Meehan also questioned whether tablet optimised Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” would change that. Honeycomb “goes some way to solving it”, he said, but “really the problem is she store itself and the marketplace…customers are not buying enough stuff from the Android Market.”

Meehan is biding his time, trying to avoid making a similar mistake with an INQ Android tablet. “We’re very closely monitoring the whole pad situation…we’re seeing some nice designs coming out…once the overall experience for the customer is closer to the iPad, then is the time to move, otherwise you’ve just got a second rate iPad”.

So, could we see an INQ Android tablet larger than 7-inches with heavy Facebook integration sometime soon? Don’t bet against it.

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