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More Web Services for Handsets

November 08, 2005|From Bloomberg News

Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. are expanding the content they offer on wireless handsets, a further sign of the growing connection between the Web and cellphones.

Google on Monday introduced software allowing users to search for local businesses and view maps and satellite images on handsets. SBC Communications Inc. said it would introduce a Cingular cellphone that links to Yahoo's content.

The plans highlight the eagerness of Internet and mobile phone companies to attract consumers who want to use their phones to view information while on the move. Yahoo and Google already offer some search services on mobile handsets. Mobile phones outsold personal computers almost 4 to 1 last year, researcher Gartner Inc. said.

Handset sales grew 30%, more than twice as fast as PCs.

Google's new tool, called Google Local for mobile, is available on a test basis, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said. The service works with certain handsets from Cingular Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA Inc. Google doesn't charge for the service, although data fees may be levied under some carriers' plans.

SBC's device, planned for release next year, will let users access Yahoo services including photos, instant messaging and e-mail, a spokeswoman for San Antonio-based SBC said.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo doesn't comment on product plans, a spokeswoman said.

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