Are Google and Orange pairing up to make our secret mobile nerd dreams come true by introducing a Googlephone? There's nothing official yet, but the Observer reports that the two companies are in talks about producing a Google-branded cellphone that would come pre-loaded with mobile versions of Google apps like Google Earth, Gmail, etc. (The phone itself would be manufactured by our old friends HTC, which implies -- but doesn't guarantee -- that this thing might run Windows Mobile.)
It's not totally far-fetched; Google's been moving headlong into the mobile space for a while now. There are already handsets that come pre-loaded with Google software, and in recent months they've also offered mobile versions of Google Maps and Gmail for download. Google CEO Eric Schmidt has even waxed rhapsodic about the possibilities of free handsets subsidized by (Google) ads. Even so, releasing a Googlephone would be a HUGE step for them, since ultimately Google's goal shouldn't be to have its own phone, but rather to be on every phone, right?