Samsung’s switch to Bing could ruin Android as we know it


Recent reports have suggested that Samsung was in talks with Microsoft about potentially ditching Google as its default search provider on its mobile device and making the switch to Bing. We can’t say we’re too surprised given Samsung’s close relationship with Microsoft and that Bing has been receiving much positive attention lately — especially after they successfully integrated OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its search.

At this point, it’s just a rumor, but if this rumor were true and Samsung were to move from Google to Bing, what does it mean? On the surface, it might not seem like much. It would undoubtedly cause Google to lose some users, but the switch from Google’s biggest Android ally has the potential of having a cascading effect on the future of Android, and not necessarily in a good way.

Butterfly effect

Not much is known about how Samsung could potentially integrate Bing into its devices and apps. Seeing as how Google has strict requirements when it comes to licensing Android and how OEMs include its product and services in devices. We can only assume that Samsung’s integration of Bing would be through its own mobile browser.

If that’s the case, users of the default Samsung Internet browser would also default to Bing whenever they type something in the search bar. While you might argue that there are probably more Chrome users than Samsung Internet users, the fact remains that there will be some users who don’t know about Chrome or can’t be bothered and just use whichever browser is readily available to them.

This means that at the end of the day, the number of users who end up using Bing instead of Google as a result of this change might be negligible, but perhaps we should look beyond that.

An act of defiance

Samsung is one of the biggest Android handset makers around and as such, they wield huge influence in the market, which means that even their competitors look towards them whenever they make a move.

The company also boasts a very tight relationship with Google, especially after working with Google to revamp the Wear OS platform.

If Samsung were indeed to move from Google to Bing, it could signal to other manufacturers that maybe they too should start looking elsewhere and reduce their reliance on Google. For companies that are based in other countries that aren’t so Google-friendly, it could prompt them to start looking at more local alternatives over which local governments might have more control in terms of data gathering and data storage.

Further fragmentation

If we were to look even further than that, the switch from Google to Bing could spark ideas that maybe handset makers don’t need to be reliant on Google at all. A good example would be Huawei, which wasn’t really given a choice to begin with, but pushed ahead and created its own Android-powered operating system free from Google.

This means that while it does seem like a stretch, it’s not entirely unbelievable that other handset makers could feel the same. This would only lead to more chaos as OEMs would want their OS to be the dominant OS, which in turn could create greater fragmentation within the smartphone space which would be bad for everyone, except maybe Apple, who some might look to as being the more “stable” alternative with an established ecosystem.

On the bright side, it could even encourage Microsoft to revive its Windows Phone platform, especially if the numbers were to support it.

Is this the end?

The scenarios we laid out above are admittedly a bit wild and speculative. For all we know, should Samsung switch to Bing and not a single person will notice. Android will continue to remain the dominant platform and other OEMs will still be reliant on Google and its services.

But at the same time, it would behoove us to at least consider the possibilities, especially when we’re talking about some of the biggest tech companies in the world where decisions, big and small, can affect the lives of millions of people.

Personally, I think it’s a good thing that Samsung could be considering switching to Bing. Microsoft is making some amazing advancements in its search thanks to its AI integration, and if we can bring that to mobile it could be huge. It’s also not that difficult for users to switch from Bing to Google as their default search anyway, but it’s always good to have options.

Plus, we imagine that there could also be financial gain for Samsung too. Google already pays Apple billions to stay as their default search, so it could definitely help Samsung’s financials if Microsoft were to offer them a similar deal, or if Google could counter with something more lucrative.

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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