The future for Orange could soon be Google in your pocket from The Observer talks about Google and mobile phone operator Orange apparently discussing the creation of a Google branded phone. I can’t feel there might be a bit of hype here leaking from the Orange side. Google has a very tight partnership with Orange competitor T-Mobile in the UK. Google’s preloaded on all those phones as a search default, plastered in T-Mobile brochures and so on. One quote especially makes me dubious:
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.’
No, Google’s only been doing things for mobile phones since at least 2001, when they set up the mobile search and page squeezing service many people think is a new thing. Yep, they don’t know so much about mobiles. Thank goodness Orange can come in to educate them.
I’d say Orange has had great success in taking generic phones from people like HTC and redubbing them with the Orange brand (until recently, I was a proud Orange SPV C500 owner, so I’m well familiar with Orange).
Frankly, either my Verizon XV6700 or my T-Mobile MDA Vario II make it easy to surf the web and search with Google (or other providers). So I don’t see a Google-Orange partnership as somehow being a big revolution to improve the experience as described:
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.
We’ll see, of course. I could be wide of the mark, but I would think it’s more likely that Google is looking to do perhaps a deeper deal with Orange that T-Mobile, perhaps by loading up phones with existing Google mobile apps. That’s not quite a revolution, though it would be a boost to Google in the mobile space. Heck, maybe they’ll even consider better support for the Windows Mobile devices they pretty much ignore.