Motorola Androids To Feature Bing

mbingWe recently learned that AT&T had taken Android’s precious Google Search bar and incorporated Yahoo Search instead – a virtual “in ‘yo face” to the search engine giant. But hey, them’s the rules and AT&T is playing by them, right? Well now Motorola could be playing that same game.

A vague (and somewhat awkward) Reuters article suggests that Motorola has a new partnership with Bing that will utilize its search and mapping services on the manufacturer’s Android phones.  They say the deal will be “starting in the coming weeks with phones in China,” which leaves the door open for expansion in other countries. Utilizing Bing in China makes sense given Google’s current standoff with the country’s search censorship, but what does it mean in the long run elsewhere?

Motorola has already announced the allowance of Chinese customers to use Baidu as a search alternative so introducing Bing shouldn’t be a huge surprise. But allowing an alternative (Baidu) and engaging in a partnership (Bing) that likely has financial agreements attached to it are two TOTALLY different things. If Motorola’s Android Phones include Google by default, but Microsoft is bidding to have it replaced with Bing, why WOULDN’T the company be open to negotiations? It would be financially irresponsible NOT to leave that door open.

I think most of us agree that Google Search and Google products such as Maps, Mail, Finance and more offer customers a superior experience. But having those products embedded in a mobile device generates revenue – revenue for which other service providers are willing to bid. And if that opportunity is lucrative enough, will Google be willing to bid on placement in its own Android-based phones?

I’m not sure how deep this Motorola and Microsoft partnership goes but the question has been raised and the issue illustrated. AT&T replaced Google on the Backflip, Motorola  could strategically use Bing in sensitive countries, and these occurences could and likely will continue and grow over time. In one sense this is the beauty of Android. In another, it is the scenario that could continue to contribute to consumer confusion.

I am a whole-hearted believer that consumers need to do their own due diligence in researching a product before they purchase, but will people be buying Android phones with the idea it’ll be bundled with Google services but instead get Yahoo, Bing and other alternatives strewn all over the place? And will we be able to replace them?

Please save the “just root your phone” comments for another discussion… we’re talking about the everyday consumers who often think Android Phones are just “Google Phones” and aren’t likely reading this article. Like it or not, these are the people who move the needle the most and compose the bulk of market share.

sewarI think this new discussion brings up a great point that Google has been pushing all along: they truly have created an open mobile OS that can be customized and controlled by the manufacturers and carriers. They’ve created a level playing field to take mobile to the next level and just want an opportunity to play on the playground, believing their own software and services are superior and will win out in the end. And in the end I think they’re right… unless any of you out there would prefer Yahoo or Bing as your phone’s default?

I’m guessing the above numbers will speak for themselves. By enabling mobile phones as web devices, more people will have more access to the web at more times every single day. Inevitably, people will be exposed to Google in these new encounters which will inherently drive additional revenue for Google. The Big G is helping to provide mobile web access to the masses and being rewarded because, simply put, people naturally choose Google over the competition.

I’m sure Google is leveraging their creation of Android in their dealings with Microsoft, AT&T and other manufacturers and carriers. But it is clear that these stakeholders are by no means obligated to select Google as a partner… but wouldn’t you want to? An Android Phone stuck with Yahoo or Bing integration with the inability to rid it of that plague would be a primary reason for me NOT to buy that particular phone. I’m guessing there are many others like me… and I guess Google knew that when they pursued Android in the first place.

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  • CJ

    I wouldn’t buy an Android phone that did use the Google services as it’s defaults. Having Google hardwired into Android is what makes it so appealing. Without those tie ins I don’t see the point. Motorola needs to tread lightly down this path because Android has single handedly saved it’s cellular business but I guarantee you that customers in the US will avoid them like the plague if they try to pull that BS here. This also points out why Google needs to dictate some of the features of Android and say that ABC can’t be removed but you can add XYZ as an alternative if you’d like. That way the customer gets to choose whether they want to use the defaults or the crap the manufacturer makes deals to include.

  • Rob

    I got no problem if they made the search engine default to Bing (as long as I could change it to whatever I want).

    I would however set everything to Google. GTalk, GMail, etc are my choice web services. And now that Reader integrates with Listen I actually use that too. I just hope they add a video podcast app that can tie into Reader as well.

    If consumers have choice then the consumers win.

  • Jim W

    It seems obvious why motorola and others using Android software will back off the tie into Google, maybe due to Google’s entering the hardware business. Google has the search engine, now the phone, next the app market place, and finally will be a phone service provider. I agree with Motorola distance yourself from Google work on making the best phone.

  • shaneaus

    I don’t have a problem with the Carrier/Manufacturer pre-load different services… AS LONG AS THE USER CAN REMOVE or INSTALL their own preference after purchase.

    This is a MAJOR issue I have with ATT. Their pre-loading their bloat/crap-ware on the phone I don’t have an issue with… Making it impossible to remove without rooting the device – I HAVE A MAJOR PROBLEM with. They may subsidize the phone – but, I’ll still be paying the lion’s share for that device. I am NOT a happy ATT customer right now.

    But, I am holding out judgement till ATT releases the HTC Desire and the Dell Mini 5.

    I will DEFINITELY be rooting either device immediately if they load all that crap!

  • Tom M.

    I’m one of those “everyday consumers who often think Android Phones are just “Google Phones” but here I am reading this article. I don’t have the faintest idea how to root a phone. It’s just beyond me.

    If Google is not default on an Android phone I simply won’t buy it. Why would I? I’m trying to standardize on one thing and it is Google. I like their stuff.

    If it turns out that a mfg. retroactively changed my Google phone to Yahoo or Bing I would be mighty unhappy. Enough to quit Android. I’d even consider a non-AT&T iPhone if they improved the Phone part. The i part is fine, the phone part is awful.

  • Brett Lewis

    no credit for the tip :(

  • Usman

    I agree with you guys… I was shocked when I read the article. Motorola owes Google for saving their ass and this is how they’ve chosen to do business. I’ll be sticking to true Google devices. Heck, I think I’ll avoid Motorola just because of this move on their part.

    I imagine this is one reason Google wanted to start their own flagship phone sales model. Every Android phone sold through Google will feature the latest and greatest Android OS and complete Google integration. I still think that Google should have created provisions to limit carrier/manufacturer tampering… but that would make them more like Apple (evil). Looks like they’ve dug a bit of a hole… hopefully they were smart and have planned around this so it doesn’t become a huge problem.

    In closing, F Motorola. I <3 Google.

  • Brett Lewis

    I mean, google is providing this OS and continued work on it FOR FREE, the least the carrier can do is use Google as the damn search engine.

    Besides, the market has spoken. People prefer Google. They do it better, and simpler.

  • Usman

    I encourage all of you to send your thoughtful comments to Motorola regarding this idiotic decision. I did…but it’ll only reach Jha’s ears if a lot of people do it.

    https://www.motorola.com/feedback.jsp

  • Dethduck

    This is in no way a slap in the face to google just by the simple fact that they CAN do this in the first place. If anything it’s a slap in the face to MS and Yahoo, like saying, “Go ahead, your welcome to because we, Sirs, are not afraid off competition. In fact, we encourage it”

  • Robin

    I switched carrier to get my current “with Google” phone, and i’d be willing to switch again. My next phone is going to be “with Google”, I have learned that that’s way more important than what hardware, which manufacturer, or which network.

  • gad

    I do agree,Google don’t need to restrict the carriers or phone makers from adding other products, else they’ll be like Apple (THE EVIL ONE).but they should insist that Google products be included cos i can’t see myself using anything but Google products.

  • kidphat

    At this point I do not think Motorola is spitting in Google’s face because Google decided to pull out of China; however, if Motorola tries to pull this in the U.S., that will be another story.

  • king

    microsoft should makes deals like this with all andorid makers. offer windows phone 7 series at a discounted price to have bing as a default on their android device.

  • http://www.appletree.be Jochen

    Android = Google

    Of course 99% wil answer the poll with Google.

    Imho.

    But I ♥ Google too. :)

  • Dennis

    It’s MS buying their way in.. They already paid Yahoo to take over search at Yahoo’s sites.. You can bet there are some incentive$ for Motorola to put Bing on the phone.. Advertising dollars come when you have people using your search engine.. It’s too bad Bing has to pay to force their way in, instead of standing on their own merits.

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  • Joe

    Like almost everyone else has commented, I bought my Droid because it was Google oriented – I have absolutely zero interest in an MS or Yahoo integrated product.

  • http://phandroid.com Talton "Phases" Pettigrew

    It’s looking more and more like I won’t be able to ever upgrade from my Droid, lol. Honestly, I love the vanilla OS. I don’t want yahoo or bing or sense or blur.

  • John

    Google+Android saved Motorola from closure, and this is how they pay back.
    I like Google experience, because their products get better and better, are innovative and if the best on the market. If I wanted an MS or iCrap phone i would have got one.
    I will never buy a Motorola phone if its not Google experience.
    For sure there must be a conspiracy against the Android and this is very obvious from the launch of Nexus One.
    Stupid/false reviews by big blogs/sites/newspapers, hammering of android market (number and quality of apps, suddenly nobody remembers the bad quality of apps on appstore when it was launched), apple going after HTC on patents, lately an app programmed wrongly to show the multitouch does not work on nexus. Should i go on? People please continue if you remember anything else.
    Anyway Google is not afraid of them, and i think if phone manufacturers insist on killing Google experience then Google should go ahead and start producing their own phones.

  • Chris

    uh, why? i wouldn’t buy an android phone that didn’t integrate with Google services…that is the leverage. And on the same note, i wouldn’t buy a WinPho7 device if it didn’t integrate with Microsoft services.

    And reaffirming what others have already said, it the carrier/OEM wants to default to another service or load their own applications…fine. But the device must allow removal of said applications by the consumer or the ability to change to another service (i.e. search engine). Otherwise, no deal and i’ll take my $$ elsewhere.

    Bad, bad decision on Motorola’s part if they pursue this path. It’s likely being enticed by a boatload of $$ which Motorola could see it improving their bottomline further but the long-term implications are pretty significant in disenfranchising the customer (install and potential) base.

  • Kevin B.

    If it’s not broke, don’t fix it! When I heard what AT&T did to the backflip, I decided to look at other carriers. I want an open phone, to customize to my own preferences. I will not buy an AT&T android phone. And if Motorola does the same, by using Bing on there devices, I won’t even consider any of the devices they sell. Just leave Android alone!

  • Frank

    I just wrote Motorola a letter, via their website, and told them I wouldn’t purchase a phone without Google services on it. I sent them a link to this post so someone over there (hopefully someone with sense) can look see the overwhelming support for Google.

  • Maj

    this is totally lame, at least they should give you an option when booting the device for the first time.
    anyway, im quite happy with google services and they tend to do best and wouldn’t want to switch to another service provider

  • Terran

    i personally would rather have yahoo mail for the email client since i have been using it since, well, it has been out. i dont wanna have to switch to Gmail just because i get an android phone. but other then the email client, i like the rest of googles services. just allow people to pick what they wanna use and EVERYONE will be happy

  • Dizzy

    The Sopranos foretold this many moons ago, you know? ….the strip club Baidu-Bing ???

  • http://www.bing.com wales

    i do not use anything google.
    this is really waste of time to read any comments of people that make politics out of technology.
    I think microsoft is doing a great job and a wonderful contribution to technology today and their services are far better. example Bing.com organizes information in a fantastic way and i find aynthing much faster.

  • http://www.searchenginepartner.com Clinton Cimring

    I highly doubt Bing would replace Google in the US considering that Google designed the Android operating system.

  • Alexx

    I would like to be able to choose my own search engine. I am currently on my motorola backflip. Though it uses yahoo as the basics for the search engine it still comes with all of the google apps. Such as gmail, gtalk, and google maps. I have owned an htc g1 before this & the only differnce is the search engine.

  • Jenn

    I like Google search, but I LOVE bing! Wish there was an app for it on my HTC Droid Incredible phone as good as the bing app was on my Blackberry Storm 2.

  • http://www.mobilseks.org seks

    thanks tu you admins

  • http://www.phonecards4usa.com phonecards4usa

    Every Android phone sold through Google will feature the latest and greatest Android OS and complete Google integration. I still think that Google should have created provisions to limit carrier/manufacturer tampering… but that would make them more like Apple (evil). Looks like they’ve dug a bit of a hole… hopefully they were smart and have planned around this so it doesn’t become a huge problem.