Mobile phone operator 3 has confirmed that it will be launching a third Skype phone later this year.

Speaking at the launch of a new pricing tariff in connection with Skype, Kevin Russell, the operator's CEO here in the UK told journalists, including Pocket-lint, that the company was working on another dedicated Skype handset for release in Q4.

Unfortunately for us however, Russell refused to be pulled on any further details of the new phone likely to be called the S3 or INQ2.

The comments confirm rumours from late last year that INQ, the company behind the INQ1 on the 3 network (and also partly owned by 3's parent company) were working on a new handset that includes a QWERTY keyboard so messaging will be easier than the current T9 offering found on the Skype S2.

Judging by some of the surfing habits of the current 3 users the company needs a QWERTY keyboard based handset pronto. According to 3's own figures, Russell told Pocket-lint that its users visited over 97 million Facebook pages in March on its handsets alone excluding its 3G dongles.

We will keep you posted.