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.