|Orange Signs Strategic Pan-European Mobile Partnership with Google|
Orange has partnered with Google to bring Google Mobile App to Orange customers in Europe. The deal will enable one-click access to Google’s mobile search and geo-location services via the Orange homescreen on an array of smartphones. Initially, the application will be available on Signature Android handsets, which include LG Eve (France, Spain), HTC Tattoo (France, UK, Spain) and HTC Hero (France). It will later feature on Orange Signature devices operating on Symbian S60, RIM’s BlackBerry and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. Orange is the first operator to include Google Mobile App on multiple mobile platforms in addition to a search widget on the Android mobile platform.
Orange today announces an industry-first as it becomes the first operator to partner with Google™(1) to bring Google Mobile App™ to mobile customers in Europe. The multi-year strategic agreement, combining the best in content and search innovation from both partners, is making mobile search and geo-location services even more accessible by giving customers one-click access to Google Mobile App via the Orange homescreen. The application provides enhanced search features and access to the Orange mobile portal and other familiar Google products and services.
Orange plans to launch Google Mobile App across its footprint in a phased approach and will deliver it across a large range of Orange Signature phones, which are customised for a better user experience. Initially, Orange is giving customers instant access to Google Search™ from the homescreen on Signature Android handsets, alongside other services such as Orange TV. In the UK and France, Google mobile search results will also include relevant content from Orange’s own mobile portal, combining results from both partners for the first time. From October, the Orange Signature Android series, including LG Eve (France, Spain), HTC Tattoo (France, UK, Spain) and HTC Hero (France) will also feature specially designed services like the Orange Email Wizard which lets users set up and use their chosen mobile email services - including Google Mail™ – in one easy-to-manage place.
Google Mobile App will later be made available across a wider range of Orange Signature devices operating on Symbian S60, RIM (BlackBerry) and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile. On these platforms the application will include links to services like Orange mobile portal, Google News™, Google Maps and Google Mail, giving Orange Signature customers even greater access to content and tools that are useful in daily life. Together with the new services, Orange customers can continue to browse and download mobile applications that are personal and relevant to them, for example, from the Orange Application Shop.
Raoul Roverato, Executive Vice-President for New Growth Business, Orange, says, "People want easy access to the best content and services on the Web on any screen. At Orange, we have developed a range of applications that our mobile customers can directly access from their homescreen, such as Orange TV, Orange Games, My Social Place or My Social Life and the Orange mobile portal.” Raoul adds, “This partnership will also let us give customers direct access to the best Google applications across a large part of our Signature portfolio, combining the strength of two leading brands to create and deliver the kind of content people want to find and use on their mobile.”
Vic Gundotra, Vice-President of Engineering at Google, adds: “Google Mobile App makes it easier than ever for people to find and use information that matters to them when they’re on the move. Partnering with Orange is a great opportunity for us to provide their customers across Europe with instant access to the web.”
The Google Mobile App search experience has been tailored to combine Orange’s own mobile search results, so relevant content exclusively available to Orange customers – such as Ligue1 football news in France – is readily available alongside independent Internet content. Orange’s own data shows there is a strong and growing consumer appetite for simple, internet search on the mobile - mobile searches increased by 120% over the last 12 months (Orange UK, ODMI May 2009). As such, the different approach to this partnership, combining services and content, enables Orange to continue to deliver on its promise to give customers the very best mobile multimedia experience.
Olaf Swantee, Senior Executive Vice President Personal Communication Services Orange, says: “Through this partnership we continue to deliver on our promise to make the mobile Internet even more pervasive to our customers. As the first operator to partner with Google in this way, we are setting a benchmark for openness in the mobile industry that inspires our customers, builds loyalty and helps grow our business.”