Google and Orange teaming up on Googlephone?

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?

News source: Engadget via Back Page News

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This would be awesome, especially if it was windows smartphone.
Ironically, one of the things I didn't like about my old smartphone was the poor integration it had with gmail (pop3 access just doesn't do it for me), so this is a little late, but I for one would be very interested in a google branded phone.

I can't imagine them brining anything creative to the market space.

The only thing that I think is needed now is better/faster data connection speed and more affordable data plans. Once you have those 2 things then you will see a true boom in the "cell space"

We are still in the early staging and it seems to me that the phone companies are nickle and diming us. I am with cingular and those ****ers charge you $10 more for everything. Their top of the line data/media plan will cost you an additional $49.

f**kin A.

They won't bring out their pwn phone surely....I can see them working closely with networks to provide free miniapps on them though.