Bing As iPhone Default Search Engine Part Deux

I expressed skepticism yesterday that Bing would become the default search engine on the iPhone. Rather, I speculated, it would be added as an option (as it should be) on the device. But CNBC has some additional information that asserts default search status on the iPhone is a real possibility for Bing. But take the following interesting arguments with caution.

According to the CNBC report, citing “an intriguing email from a knowledgeable [but anonymous] source”:

  • When Microsoft released its Bing app for iPhone, it became the company’s best mobile search by volume of queries, better than the traffic Verizon Wireless
  • This source says “Jobs hates Eric”
  • Every time you do a Google search from Apple’s iPhone Safari and a user clicks an ad, Apple gets a payment. Microsoft, this source tells me, is willing to throw much more money to Apple to ensure that they displace Google as the default engine
  • Along those lines, this source tells me the discussions between Microsoft have been ongoing since the October/November time frame

I was unaware that Google paid Apple on a per query basis. Microsoft has tons of money and showed it was willing to use it to win Verizon’s business. But Apple doesn’t need Microsoft’s money at this point.

There’s also discussion in the article about “deeper integration” of Bing’s search engine into the iPhone:

“Steve understands that Bing will give him a Search API where he can integrate search results deeper and deeper in the product without having to see the Bing web page and user-interface,” says this source.

I remain skeptical. I told several people yesterday in discussions about this idea that any announcement next week that Bing had supplanted Google as the search default on the iPhone would distract from Apple’s hardware announcements. It would also come off as petty. Because why would Apple be doing this, generally speaking? — except as a kind of “punishment” for Google for competing with it.

Yet if Apple is mad at Google for Android, Microsoft is a longer-established competitor in the hardware/OS arena with Windows Phones. In fact, Microsoft is rumored to be releasing its own “iPhone Killer” Zune phone at some point in the near future (“Pink“). So there’s something “irrational” here that doesn’t completely make sense to me.

We’ll see what happens next week; it would certainly be a big deal for Bing but I would still be surprised to see it happen. I could be wrong of course.

Related Topics: Apple | Channel: Mobile | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Microsoft: Bing | Microsoft: Bing Mobile

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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