Google may dominate in web search, but it has only a slight lead over Yahoo in mobile search users, according to new stats from research firm M:Metrics. Business Week has a good summary of the research:
“Google had about 4.75 million U.S. subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2006, roughly 1.1 million more than Yahoo. Microsoft’s MSN Mobile was a distant third with slightly under a million subscribers. Google does have a lead worldwide thanks, in part, to deals with leading telecom companies in China, India, Japan, and Europe.
“But Google and Yahoo may not even be the true leaders. Medio Systems, a four-year-old startup, is quietly powering the default search feature on many phones from Verizon, T-Mobile, and Amp’d Mobile services, among others.”
Trouble is, M:Metrics doesn’t measure Medio’s traffic, because it’s bundled into wireless carrier offerings. The stats do show that the race to gain market share in mobile search is just starting, and the major players haven’t yet muscled out the smaller guys.
And an interesting potential development:
“There was speculation at the 3GSM show that the big mobile service providers—including Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Spain’s Telefónica, and Cingular (T)—were discussing banding together to develop, or adopt, a mobile search service to rival Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft’s MSN.”
The article also takes a look at some of the key differences between web and mobile search and talks about new features currently being rolled out.