In a curious announcement this week, AT&T has announced its search provider for the upcoming Android powered Backflip. That provider is Yahoo, NOT Google. Surprised? Well, there are many reasons why Google may not be the chosen search provider. Commercial relations, revenue share or just Apple appeasement have been cited as potential reasons.
The UI for this ‘phone is not a pure Google experience but instead a Motoblur custom user interface which gives them the ability to change elements including the search provider. Some commentators suggest this is an attempt to not upset Apple, with whom AT&T had the original iPhone contracts in the USA or AT&T feel Yahoo’s mobile search is superior to Google’s.
At present all we have is a delighted Yahoo response,
We are happy that AT&T has chosen Yahoo! Search as the default mobile search service on the Motorola Backflip, AT&T’s first Android device. We have a long-standing relationship with AT&T and more than 80 carrier partnerships around the world for our award-winning mobile search experience. Mobile search continues to be a focus for investment and innovation at Yahoo!. It is an important part of our range of mobile Internet services, which include our popular mobile home page, apps for iPhone and other leading platforms, Yahoo! Mail and Messenger and others Yahoo! services.
In Yahoo’s defence, it already has a limited presence on some Androids with elements such as weather and stocks being pulled from Yahoo, whilst Google services like Finance have to be downloaded separately from the Android Market.
Once we get our paws on one, we’ll you know how it works.