Mobile Search Race Wide Open
Google may be miles ahead in Web search, but the business of finding material on the Mobile Web remains an open question. It's turning into an out-and-out horse race, with Google taking a slender lead with 4.75 million monthly subscribers, followed by Yahoo with 3.65 million, and MSN with slightly less than 1 million subscribers, according to mobile researcher M:Metrics.
The mobile game is different because it down to each search company's relationship with the carriers. For this reason, companies like Medio Systems can slide in, secure a few deals and shore up some market share. Four-year old Medio has partnerships making it the default search engine on Verizon (VZ), T-Mobile (DT) and Amp'd Mobile services, among others. These are U.S.-based deals, which makes Media something of a leader in the U.S., though its service isn't tracked by M:Metrics and other research firms. Most of Google's share comes from big partnerships in China, Japan and Europe.
Says Media Chief and co-founder Brian Lent: "What we see is that someone that goes to Google search will often switch and use our product."