Facebook-Enabled Phone One Step Closer To U.S. Launch

The INQ Cloud Connect has cleared the FCC, launching rumors of a late-summer launch with AT&T.

Just days after the INQ Cloud Touch, once called the first official Facebook phone, launched in the U.K., the device passes its first United States debut hurdle: the FCC. Rumors are swirling of a United States launch as soon as late summer, 2011.

While no official carrier has been announced, the Android Community speculates AT&T will carry the phone with a purchase price of around $500 without a contract, and $30 with a contract. AT&T has neither confirmed nor denied the speculation, but considering testing included GSM 850 and 1900 bands, as well as WCDMA Bands II and V, AT&T seems the logical carrier.

U.K. customers are reporting specs for the phone, which include the Android 2.2 Froyo operating system, with a Qualcomm MSM7227 800MHz processor, 3.5″ touch screen, 512MB of internal storage, GPS, WiFi, bluetooth, 5 MP camera and a sliding QWERTY keyboard.

While these are good specs for any smartphone, Facebook integration is at the heart of the phone’s marketing plan. As the pictures attest, the phone’s homepage is designed for easy Facebook tracking, and the QWERTY keyboard is ideal for quick status updates.

The phone is sure to be well received among American Facebook users, which is a broad market that encompasses a wide age range. But, the question remains: Will AT&T help or hurt the phone’s popularity?