Mobile search and Google

This particular article about Google and mobile search on Ars Technica caught my eye. The opening paragraph says it all really:

Google managed to spank the rest of the mobile search world during the first quarter of 2008, according to data from Nielsen Mobile. The search giant managed to capture 61 percent of the mobile search market in the first four months of the year, with Yahoo! taking a very distant second at 18 percent. MSN sat at third place with a measly 5 percent.

I mention this because about six months ago I was tapped to join a mobile search startup (which will remain nameless). I did about a days worth of research in the mobile search segment and some things jumped out at me pretty quickly.

The carriers have done a very poor job of marketing their own services to their customers. For example, I have been an ATT customer (and Cingular before that) since 1999 and I never knew that they have a property called MediaMall and I consider myself somewhat tech savvy. This is in fact a problem for them since I have not built up any loyalty to this service.

Smart phones are the way forward, that is really clear to me, and with these smart phones comes a web browser with a connection to the internet completely allowing their customers to bypass anything the carrier may have to offer and go directly to the services they already use from their computer.

Which made it really clear to me that online search wold belong to Google once they started moving in on that space, first via browsers on smart phones (like the iPhone), and via their own cell phone platform, namely symbian.

Looking out I could see two trends, one going up and the other going down, no prizes for guessing which is what.

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