Google in talks with Orange on possible Internet phone deal

Google has held talks with Orange, the telecommunications operator, about a multi-billion dollar tie-up for mobile telephone users to search the web, a news report, quoted by an AFP report, said.

Executives from Orange, which is owned by France Telecom, flew to Silicon Valley in California for preliminary talks about such a deal at Google's headquarters, the London-based newspaper The Observer said on its Web site.

The two firms are focusing on a branded Google phone, which would probably also carry Orange's logo, with a screen that might look like a video iPod, it said.

It would be manufactured by HTC, a Taiwanese firm specializing in smart phones and PDAs.

The phone would have built-in Google software which would vastly speed up the slow and cumbersome experience of surfing the web from a mobile handset, the news site said.