When it comes to mobile internet search, alliances are short-lived and loyalties are looser than, well, you get the point. AT&T recently kicked Google off the Android-powered Motorola BackFlip, in order to get in bed with Yahoo as the default search engine on the smartphone. Now, T-Mobile USA has up and shuffled Google out the door to make space for Yahoo. The two-year agreement between Yahoo and T-Mobile is apparently no more, and the fourth-largest US wireless carrier is looking elsewhere for mobile search. That elsewhere is Google.
To keep with the search-is-promiscuous-business theme, let’s revisit T-Mobile’s not too long ago marriage to Yahoo. The partnership between Yahoo and T-Mobile was supposed to be beautiful. It birthed a new T-Mobile web portal, it spread to many handsets, but alas, the union did not last. Today, things are different. The Magenta carrier has apparently decided that there’s nothing keeping it tied to Yahoo and has already turned to Google’s waiting arms.
The deal should boost Google’s bruised ego, coming off the “burn” delivered by AT&T, by way of the BackFlip. It’s not clear what the terms of the deal were, but mobile search deals aren’t anything to scoff at. It recently cost Microsoft a cool half billion (with a “B”) dollars to get Bing on deck as the default search engine on Sprint phones.
It’s not clear how long T-Mobile’s commitment to Google is at this point, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see them looking for a new search partner in the not too distant future. That’s how things go in the crazy mobile search game. Hey, don’t hate the playa, hate the game.