CES: Motorola puts Google on handsets

Motorola announced that many of its future handsets will offer access to Google's search technology at the touch of a single button. The officialese is that the companies want to encourage mobile users to access the Internet using their handsets--a worthy cause, no doubt. Motorola sees Google's presence as a selling point that could rationalize a higher retail value on its phones. All very safe and plausible. The deal seems like an innocuous feather in Motorola's handset hat.

Google-rival and enterprise search solutions provider Fast has a different perspective: "Google isn't just a search engine--it's now a global brand right up there with Coca-Cola. By partnering with Google, Motorola is allowing its own brand to be diluted." The criticism boils down to this: Motorola lost the chance to launch "Motorola Search" powered by someone like FAST. It's true, the Google brand is a powerful one. And the iTunes phone, er, ROKR E1, is case in point when it comes to big brand names overshadowing Motorola. Did you hear there's a ROKR E2? And what do you know? No iTunes this time around.

For more on Google's search technology on Motorola's handsets:
- take a look at this article from the BBC
- and FAST's criticism of the deal posted on Mobile Europe

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