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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Google Sees Surge in Web Use on Hot Mobile Phones

Google has seen an acceleration of Internet activity among mobile phone
users in recent months since the company introduced faster Web services
on selected phone models, fueling confidence the mobile Internet era is
at hand, the company said on Tuesday. Early evidence showing sharp
increases in Internet usage on phones, not just computers, has emerged
from services Google has begun offering in recent months on Blackberry
e-mail phones, Nokia devices for multimedia picture and video creators
and business professionals and the Apple iPhone... The growing
availability of flat-rate data plans from phone carriers instead of
per-minute charges that previously discouraged Internet use, along with
improved Web browsers on mobile phones as well as better-designed services
from companies like Google are fueling the growth. Google made the
pronouncement as it introduced a new software download for mobile phones
running Microsoft's Windows Mobile software that conveniently positions
a Google Web search window on the home screen of such phones. Similar
versions of the search software which Google introduced for BlackBerry
users in December and certain Nokia phones in February have sped up the
time users take to perform Web searches by 40 percent and, in turn, driven
usage. The software shortcuts the time it takes for people to perform Web
searches on Google by eliminating initial search steps of finding a Web
browser on the phone, opening the browser, waiting for network access,
and getting to By making a Google search box more convenient,
mobile phone users have begun using the Internet more. Microsoft expects
to have sold 20 million Windows Mobile devices by the end of its fiscal
year in June, which together with Blackberry and Symbian-based phones
represent upward of 85 percent of the Internet-ready smartphones sold
in the world.

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