24/7 Wall St. Daily News
It looks like Google (GOOG) will strike a deal to be the default search feature on all of Verizon's (VZ) cellular handsets. Since the phone company has about 70 million subscribers, the win is significant. It cuts Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo! (YHOO) out of a potentially valuable piece of real estate.
The fact of the matter is that Google has probably already won the race of search engine market share on wireless devices. Microsoft and Yahoo! can cut deals to act as the initial search option for a large number of carriers. According to The Wall Street Journal, AT&T (T) will use the Yahoo! product on its MEdia Net wireless portal. But, that hardly matters.
PCs often come with a default search function. Sometimes those are from Yahoo! or Microsoft. But, the minute most people use their browsers for search, they usually load the Google URL.. Google is viewed as the superior product, which may be why it has 60% to 70% of the PC market in the US.
Mobile applications will not be any different. Handset browsers function in much the same way as they do on PCs. The consumer will use his preference, not what the carrier has set as the first option.
Google's reputation as a better search product will carry over to the mobile handset world. The venue may be changing, but the customer's brand preference will not.
Douglas A. McIntyre
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