January 6, 2006, 12:00 AM

Googling on the go

In a plan that will drive more search traffic through Google, Google Inc. is teaming up with Motorola Inc. to offer wireless Internet-optimized mobile devices pre-loaded with a Google web search icon.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

In a plan that will drive more search traffic through Google, Google Inc. is teaming up with Motorola Inc. to offer wireless Internet-optimized mobile devices pre-loaded with a Google web search icon, Google and Motorola said today. The hope is that it will encourage users quickly search the web from almost anywhere at any time.

“Whether checking the local weather or locating the restaurant of their choice, consumers today require personalized search services that are tailored to their needs," said Nikesh Arora, Google’s vice president of European operations. "With immediate access to Google, millions of Motorola users worldwide will be able to quickly and easily find information that`s important to them." Google and Motorola made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Motorola handsets, which will be available to consumers worldwide within the first quarter of this year, will also come in versions developed for Yahoo Inc. The Yahoo version won’t have a pre-loaded search icon on the handset screen, but both the Yahoo and Google versions will have built-in web browsers that let users access the Internet.

The handsets will also support a modified version of online shopping. Configured to download web pages without full graphics, the handsets will let users get product details and pricing but not support the online checkout process, a Yahoo spokesman says.

The Yahoo versions will come pre-loaded with icons to directly access Yahoo Mail and other services. "By pre-installing Yahoo Ready applications on Motorola handsets, we are making it easier for consumers to access their personalized Internet services," said Christian Lindholm, Yahoo’s vice president, global mobile products.

Motorola did not release the expected retail price of the handsets.

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