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Confirmed: Amazon’s New Kindle Fire Tablets To Use Bing As Default Search Engine
Ubergizmo is reporting that Bing (not Google) will be the default search engine for the Amazon browser on the new Kindle tablets. (We were able to confirm this with Microsoft directly earlier this evening.) The original Kindle Fire used Google.
Amazon is likely to sell several million of these new devices given their aggressive pricing (partly subsidized by ads). If so, that could provide a boost to Bing, especially in a mobile/quasi-mobile context.
There are several alternative browsers currently available for Kindle Fire/HD including Opera, Maxthon and Dolphin. I would anticipate that Firefox and Chrome will ultimately be available as well. However most people will use the installed/default Silk browser with Bing.
Reportedly Amazon has also done a deal with Nokia to use its mapping services on its hypothetically forthcoming smartphone, and potentially on these devices (though if Bing is the default engine wouldn’t Bing Maps also be the mapping provider?).
There was no discussion of Kindle maps yesterday or subsequently that I’ve seen.
In a way this is a big gift to Google. I say that because it will help create the perception (if not the reality) that the “mobile search” market is highly dynamic and becoming more competitive. It also undermines the familiar argument that Google totally controls Android and is using the OS as a vehicle to advance its search and mobile advertising aims.
Amazon is certainly pushing the limits of using Android without Google services: Play, Search and Maps (potentially).
Traditionally these “default search” deals come with revenue. And Microsoft may be paying Amazon here; it’s almost certain. That may be one of the other reasons that Amazon can price these devices so aggressively.
Postscript: We reached out to Microsoft for confirmation of the relationship and default search deal. Microsoft responded to us but declined to comment.
Postscript II: Microsoft has now confirmed to us that Bing is the default search engine “on the new Kindle Fire HD.”