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CES: Motorola & Google Button Up

LAS VEGAS, Consumer Electronics Show -- Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) yesterday evening announced a partnership with Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) that will put one-touch access to the firm's search engine on Motorola mobile phones.

The firms, which announced the partnership after CES proper had closed for the day, aren't being modest about what the deal means.

”I think this is the beginning of... the mobile broadband internet,” Motorola CEO Ed Zander told the crowd at the “Motomixer” event.

"If you take a look over the next few years the vast majority of Google access will happen over these [mobile] devices,” predicted Eric Schmidt, CEO of the search giant, who made an appearance right at the end of the presentation.

During the event, Motorola demonstrated the “Google Button” on its phones and how the user is directly connected with the search engine through a single click. But the partnership is about more than just one-touch access. It will start to deliver much more localized search possibilities for users, because Motorola handsets have GPS satellite positioning chips onboard, which means that now the search engine will now know where a user is when they search for a restaurant, bar, or hotel online.

Google already has a text-messaging version of this service available for phones, called “Google Local,” but currently a user needs to know where they are and what the zip code is in order to get localized results for their search. Linking the service with GPS largely removes this obstacle, although satellite positioning isn't always perfect at fixing a location, particularly in built-up areas.

Google’s Schmidt tells Unstrung that GPS-enabled Google Local is ready now. “You'll be able to do all the Google Local stuff... We can demonstrate it,” he says.

And this is potentially another way for Google to make revenues off of search. “Remember this is also an advertising opportunity,” he says.

The question is how to charge for targeted ads that are delivered to potential consumers that might be just down the block from the advertiser. Schmidt says that Google will be experimenting with different models such as “pay-per-call.”

Google derives almost all of its revenue from sales of its search-based ads, according to analysts.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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