Google Partners With LG & Mobile Handset Maker Deal Chart

Google has gained another mobile phone handset partnership, this time with LG. As of the second quarter of this year, selected LG handsets shipped throughout the world will be preloaded with mobile versions of Google software, including Google Maps, Gmail and Blogger. Yahoo signed a similar deal with LG in February. It’ll be interesting to see if both companies will now have preinstalled apps on the same phones. As John Battelle notes, we’re in a new round of handset distribution wars. To help, I’ll summarize who is where in a chart below.

Beyond LG, Google announced a bundling deal with Samsung back in January. It also has deals with various carriers, such as a recent one for location mapping with Vodafone in the UK.

Yahoo, as well as Microsoft, also both have deals with carriers, such as Yahoo’s recent deal with 3 Group. In addition, Yahoo has a Samsung handset partnership in addition to several others. That leads us to chart time!

Below are handset deals cut by Google and Yahoo that I know of. Not all deals will be the same — some might provide a great range of apps or integration than others. Apple’s iPhone will have search from both Google and Yahoo, for example, but Google Maps will also be supported while Yahoo Maps won’t. Deals show announce dates in mm/dd/yy format.

Rankings show the percentage of worldwide market each handset maker is estimated to have as of the fourth quarter of last year by In-Stat. [Postscript: Google Operating System posted actual share figures for the makers over here, which come from another ratings company, Strategy Analytics, here. I've added those percentages alongside the In-Stat rankings. ITFacts also has a nice roundup page of other mobile share stats]

Handset Maker Yahoo Google
Nokia
(ranked 1; 35%)
4/26/05,
extended 1/8/07
none
Motorola
(ranked 2; 21%)
7/26/05,
extended 1/8/07
1/6/06
Samsung
(ranked 3; 12%)
1/8/07 1/8/07
Sony Ericsson
(ranked 4, 7%)
none 2/28/06
LG
(ranked 5, 6%)
2/12/07 3/28/07
RIM/BlackBerry
(no ranking given)
3/14/05,
extended
1/8/07
none
HTC
(no ranking given)
3/7/07 none
BenQ
(no ranking given)
none 3/8/2006
(release gone, so maybe deal died?)
Apple
(not yet released)
1/9/07 1/9/07

I know Microsoft has deals. I’ll see about adding these later. The most significant is probably that Microsoft makes the operating system for a growing number of smartphones (I’m a long-time user of these Microsoft-powered phones).

Note that even without deals, software may be available for phones. Google has no formal deal with BlackBerry-maker RIM, but anyone can download Google Talk For BlackBerry and use it on their phones. The deals simply get software preinstalled, which naturally increases the chance it gets used.

We’ve also had rumors that Google wants to build its own phone. After one executive confirmed there was some work on this recently, Google went into major PR spin mode to get back to the message it previously had been broadcasting, that it wants to put software on phones made by others, not build phones itself. No surprise about that spin. If you’re trying to cut deals with phone makers, you don’t want them worried you’ll compete.

Remember that despite handset deals, carriers might do what they want. For example, Yahoo just struck a deal with Virgin Mobile. Virgin doesn’t make its own handsets. These are made by others — but since Virgin is ordering the handsets, it can insist that they have whatever apps Virgin wants.

Finally, LG Handsets, of course, are the official maker of phones used by Google search quality czar Matt Cutts. Matt talked recently about wanting to exchange his existing LG phone for a new one back in September. I don’t think he ever did a follow-up, but yes, he ultimately went with the LG V that he was considering.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Mobile | Microsoft: Bing Mobile | Search Engines: Mobile Search Engines | Yahoo: Mobile & Go

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About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/ Matt Cutts

    LG rulez!! :) The enV is a great little phone that is both manly and wonderful for geeks that like to stay connected. :)

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