LG Phones to Carry Google Software

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LG Electronics Inc. plans to launch at least ten cell phones this year with preinstalled software and services from Google Inc., the two companies said Wednesday.

The tie-up between the market leader in search technology and the number five maker of cell phones will see millions of phones produced with quick access to Google Maps, Gmail for mobile and Blogger Mobile.

The first phones featuring the software will ship in the second quarter and they will eventually be available in North America, Europe and Asia. The announcement was made at the CTIA Wireless show that's currently taking place in Florida.

At last month's 3GSM show in Spain, LG announced a similar deal with Google rival Yahoo Corp.

The Yahoo deal will see Yahoo services, including Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger, preloaded onto LG phones sold worldwide. Like Wednesday's announcement, the company did not disclose financial terms of the deal or detail which phones would feature which content.

LG is not the first cell phone maker to tie-up with both Google and Yahoo. Motorola Inc. has also agreed with both major search and content companies to feature some of their products and services on select cell phone models.

LG shipped 64.4 million handsets in 2006, a rise of 17.3 percent on 2005, according to figures from IDC. Those shipments translated into a 6.3 percent share of the world market.

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