Google Smart Phone

The Observer reports on a Google smart phone & PDA that will hopefully make mobile web search and local search as natural and efficient as using a desktop or laptop computer —

Google is on the move. The internet giant has held talks with Orange, the mobile phone operator, about a multi-billion-dollar partnership to create a ‘Google phone’ which makes it easy to search the web wherever you are.

The collaboration between two of the most powerful brands in technology is seen as a potential catalyst for making internet use of mobile phones as natural as on desktop computers and laptops.

Executives from Orange flew to Silicon Valley in California for a meeting at Google’s headquarters, or ‘Googleplex’, to hold preliminary discussions about a joint deal. The companies believe that they have an affinity as brands that are perceived as both ‘positive’ and ‘innovative’.

Their plans centre on a branded Google phone, which would probably also carry Orange’s logo. The device would not be revolutionary: manufactured by HTC, a Taiwanese firm specialising in smart phones and Personal Data Assistants (PDAs), it might have a screen similar to a video iPod. But it would have built-in Google software which would dramatically improve on the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset.

A source close to the talks told The Observer: ‘Google are software experts and are doing some amazing work compressing data so that the mobile user gets a much better experience. They don’t know so much about mobiles, but they are eager to learn from Orange’s years of experience.’

Among the potential benefits are location-based searches: aware of your handset’s geographical position, Google could offer a tailored list of local cinemas, restaurants and other amenities, and maps and images from Google Earth. It is believed that the Google phone would not go on sale before 2008.

Source: The future for Orange could soon be Google in your pocket