Quite a zinger has been given to Google today for their Android mobile operating system, by none other than Verizon Wireless. Verizon will apparently be shifting to Bing as the default search provider for all upcoming Android phones from now on.
The whispers that Verizon will be using Microsoft’s Bing search engine exclusively on all upcoming Android phones is a bit surprising (although, given previous partnership announcements, we really shouldn’t be that surprised) given the relationship Verizon has had with the search giant for some time now – the original Motorola Droid was a close collaboration between Verizon, Motorola, and Google. We have to wonder how this will effect the relationship between Google and Big Red going forward? Furthermore, how much money did Microsoft pay the nation’s largest mobile carrier to get this done, eh? As it stands, we do know that the default search engine on the upcoming Samsung Fascinate is Bing, and who knows how much more we’ll see of Bing on Android?
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this, as the Motorola Backflip had Google removed as the default search provider in favor of Yahoo!, so we can really just blame Android being open-sourced. It’s not all bad though, you can always just search Google from Bing and make big G make your home page, but at the same time, people will likely just want to hit that dedicated search button and do their thing no matter what search engine is used. I wouldn’t be too worried if I were Google, Verizon is but one carrier to jump ship, and nothing is ever set in stone. That said, Verizon is also the largest wireless carrier in the US (by subscriber count), and if one carrier could possibly affect Google’s share, it’ll likely be Verizon.
So, what’s up with Bing on Android? Well, remember how Microsoft beat out Google in 2009 to become the default search engine for the Verizon’s feature phones and smartphones? The deal was signed in 2009 and was intended to be valid for five years, starting in the first half of 2009. We doubt that it will hit the upcoming Motorola Stingray tablet, but the HTC Merge may ship with Bing search pre-installed.
So does this development really matter to you all that much? I personally can’t say that I would really be swayed on way or the other by a smartphone’s default search engine, as Google is my default home page on my internet browser anyway. But, there are probably die-hard Google fans out there that won’t pick up an Android phone with Bing as the default out pure principle alone. That said, it’s almost as easy to hit the browser button as it is to hit the search button, so who cares? And, don’t forget that when Google Instant hits Android phones, who’s going to use Bing anyway?
Wait, does anyone use Bing now?