Thursday, March 18, 2010

Apple might be setting itself up for a Mobile Search Fail

APPLE and Google remain partners in certain areas. Google pays Apple millions of dollars annually to make its search engine the default on Apple’s Web browser, on the iPhone and soon, perhaps, on the iPad.

But there is wide speculation in technology circles that Apple is preparing to give Google a public black eye: by making Microsoft’s offering, Bing, the preferred search engine on the iPad, and perhaps even on the iPhone. One Apple employee says that Qi Lu, the president of Microsoft’s online services division, was recently seen visiting Apple’s campus in Cupertino to discuss such a deal. Microsoft declined to comment.
At the time of this writing, there is no physical device that runs Windows Phone 7 Series, but the initial buzz around the new platform and devices is frenzied. The devices are going to have an application store and an SDK out of the gates, and all of the Windows 7 phones will have Bing as their default search engine. If the platform catches on, and Android continues its onward march at the steady clip it is today, the default search engine on Apple will no longer be a priority for either Google or Microsoft. Why would either of the two companies pay a third almost a billion dollars to feature its search engine on *another* mobile phone platform?

Thinking about this some more, Microsoft might still make such a deal with the *perceived* devil, simply because it is the underdog in search. So yes, Apple will give Google a black eye, but really, will it even make a dent in Google's armor? In true Google style, it might just yank out the blackened eye and replace it with another commodity eye it bought for cheap on the open market!

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