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INQ phone lets you tweet for cheap

The maker of Facebook and Skype phones reveals a planned Twitter phone, which lets users tweet on the go without having to pay smartphone prices.

It's all in INQ Mobile's Twitter feed from Tuesday, and appropriately so: "Yes, you guessed it. A Twitter phone from us is imminent!"

The Twitter phone isn't expected to arrive until the holiday season, but here's the INQ1, or Facebook phone, shown at CES in January. Nicole Lee/CBS Interactive

The same U.K.-based cell phone maker that launched the Facebook and Skype phones will be introducing the Twitter phone--the latest in its line of "social networking phones"--by the end of the year.

"This can really help open up and drive Twitter use on mobile when usage becomes part of your data package like on the PC," INQ Chief Executive Frank Meehan told Reuters earlier Tuesday.

The device lets users tweet on the go without having to pay the high prices of smartphones like the iPhone and BlackBerry. According to Reuters, the Twitter phone will cost carriers less than $140.

The Facebook phone, officially called the INQ1, won a 2009 Global Mobile Award for best mobile handset. The INQ1 (CNET editors' take here) comes with Facebook, Skype, Yahoo, Google, eBay, and Windows Messenger built-in, and it also supports Java and BREW, so other applications like MySpace can be added.

Traffic for the INQ1, Reuters reports, is three to four times higher than other phones in its cell phone network, 3 UK. Since introducing its Skype phone in 2007, INQ mobile has sold 700,000 of their social-networking phones.

INQ Mobile and 3 UK are owned by the same umbrella company--Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa; INQ's phones have not yet been picked up by other cell phone carriers.