Microsoft previously said there was going to be an Android version of Bing soon, following its successful iPhone app. Today there is — for Verizon Android handsets only however. It was announced on the Bing Community Blog.
I’m sure a more general Bing-Android app will be out in the not to distant future.
Although it’s overshadowed by the Verizon-Google relationship, Verizon has a major “default search” deal with the carrier (Android was exempted). However that relationship has apparently not yielded much search-volume fruit if recent StatCounter data is to be believed. Those data put Google’s mobile search share at near 100%. It’s not clear whether they measure just browser-based search or include search apps as well.
Regardless of the precise numbers, Bing has probably got a much greater chasm to cross now in mobile than on the PC.
The move to embrace the iPhone, Android and other non-Microsoft mobile platforms is both smart and necessary for Bing to extend itself to mobile users and compete in this critical arena. Search engines (read: Yahoo, Bing) that aren’t competitive in mobile are less likely to be competitive on the PC over time.
On the PC side Bing continues to grow and is now providing organic results to Yahoo, as of last week. The combined Yahoo-Bing PC share now stands at roughly 28 percent according to recent comScore data.
Postscript: This is the statement we received from a Microsoft spokesperson after asking why Verizon gets the Android app first:
Given the deep partnership with VZW on Bing search, we’ve decided to roll out our Bing search experiences on VZW first. We’re working to make Bing available on the other mobile operators and their Android devices, but don’t have specifics to share at this time.