Gmail, Other Google Apps to Come Preloaded on LG Phones

LG Electronics and Google are teaming up to offer the search giant’s services on some of LG’s mobile phones.

The Korean electronics maker announced that it will ship select handsets preinstalled with Google products and services — including Google Maps, Blogger Mobile and Gmail — during the second quarter of this year.

The Google features will provide consumers with access to Internet services without a PC, keeping them connected while mobile, said Paul Bae, vice president of product planning at LG Electronics Mobile Communications.

The handsets will be shipped globally.

The New Lineup

LG plans to offer 10 new handsets this year bundled with the Google functions. Functions include providing mobile phone users with “one click access” to Google search via an icon in the application menu on the phones, the company said.

The announcement was made Wednesday at the CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Fla.

The deal will make it easier for mobile Internet users to access “powerful applications and personalized information” from anywhere, said Deep Nishar, Google’s director of product management.

Growing Market

In recent months, Internet search companies have been moving into this space, trying to capture a growing market.

During the 3GSM show this past March in Spain, for instance, LG announced a similar deal with Google rival Yahoo, which plans to offer unlimited e-mail storage to Yahoo Mail users.

Search engine firms such as Google and Yahoo have been trying to sign deals with both content providers and networks in an effort to tap into the increasing market for content that can be reached via mobile phones, IDC analyst Chris Hazelton told TechNewsWorld.

“As more and more power is brought to these phones, including brighter displays, touch screens and slimmer phones, services offered through them will have greater similarity with the PC,” he said.

A recent content deal between LG and Yahoo will see Yahoo Go for 2.0, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger and other services preloaded on LG phones.

Other Deals in the Pipeline

LG is not the only phone maker partnering with the search titans.

Motorola has also inked deals with both Google and Yahoo which will feature some of the Web search firms’ products and services on select cell phone models.

In addition, Apple has inked similar deals with both companies for its upcoming iPhone.

LG, the world’s fifth-largest handset maker, shipped 64.4 million handsets in 2006, an increase of 17.3 percent over 2005, according to figures from IDC. Those numbers represent a 6.3 percent share of the world’s mobile device market.

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