Orange, HP in notebook pact

PARIS (Reuters) - France Telecom’s Orange said on Wednesday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hewlett-Packard for notebooks with broadband access.

The goal is to reach a strategic agreement during the first quarter of 2009 and launch connected offers in certain countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, making the latest technology in seamless Internet access available to consumers.

The pact concerns a range of consumer notebooks with mobile and fixed broadband access.

Online portable devices such as Research in Motion’s Blackberry or the iPhone from Apple have proved a market success. Notebooks are bigger than mobile phones but smaller than laptop computers.

Reporting by Marcel Michelson