T-Mobile announced that it will be dropping Google and picking up Yahoo as its preferred mobile search provider in Europe. This is a minor victory for Yahoo, which is in direct competition with Google and Microsoft to put its search engine on mobile phones that can access the Internet. When T-Mobile partnered with Google, it was heralded as one of the first partnerships between a mobile operator and a search provider.
“Well done Yahoo for knocking Google off the Web n Walk home page,” wrote John Delaney, an analyst for Ovum, commenting on the announcement. Web n Walk is T-Mobile’s mobile Internet offering.
Starting this March, T-Mobile customers in 11 European countries will see Yahoo’s mobile oneSearch become the default on their phones. OneSearch is crafted to make it easy for mobile users to get relevant search results and navigate through different categories within search results. Other Yahoo services are also planned, including Flickr, Messenger, Mail, Weather and Finance. Yahoo has 29 mobile operators as oneSearch customers.
The market for mobile branded search services is still young, with no clear leaders. Search providers like Yahoo and Google are betting that there will be strong growth in mobile Internet usage and are willing to spend money trying to become the number one provider.