Google to be Integrated on Nokia Handsets

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TechCrunch/CrunchGear/MobileCrunch Barcelona Meet-up – UPDATE!

The world’s largest handset maker, Nokia, announced today that it will integrate the Google search engine with the Nokia Search application. This plan was released at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Google search will be available in more than 100 countries on a variety of handsets. The first Nokia products to be loaded with Google will be the Nokia N96, N78, 6210 Navigator and 6330 classic.

The combination of Nokia applications and Google search can “provide an excellent overall experience,” said Google Vice President Vic Gundotra. He added that the “fast, relevant and comprehensive search experience” will be familiar to people who use Google to search the Web from their desktop.

The deal doesn’t make Google the exclusive search engine on the Nokia phones. An analyst with the research firm IDC noted that the on-device search is controlled by Nokia. When a user wants to search the Net, Google appears along with Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search. But those who are used to using Google on their PCs may be more likely to use Google on their Nokia phones.

“Nokia is only allowing all of these search engines to compete on a Nokia device, said Chris Hazelton, IDC analysis. “Nokia still maintains the platform ownership.”

This is where Nokia wants to be, Hazelton said. It is the world’s leading mobile-device manufacturer, he added, “but they want to transform themselves into a software and services company, because that’s where they see the future going.”

This move makes it easier for both companies to utilize Google’s open-source platform, Android. Google wants to get its platform on as many mobile devices as it can and Nokia wants to be able to provide its customers with software applications without investing money in a competing platform.

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