Yahoo! might want to temper its excitement over beating Google to become the default search engine on the Motorola Backflip. Though Yahoo! should be happy to secure their space on AT&T’s first Android phone, they’ve lost a similar deal with T-Mobile. Making matters worse, the loss is suffered to their chief rival, Google.
T-Mobile has ended its deal with Yahoo! to be the exclusive supplier of search results on its phones. Though Android phones used Google search, Yahoo! provided search results on feature phones with web capabilities, Sidekicks, and Blackberry devices. Yahoo will continue to provide some content services like mail, messenger, and news on certain phones, but the company confirmed to MocoNews that they are no longer providing search results to T-Mobile USA phones.
Google already had a deal in place to provide search results via their default status on all of T-Mobile’s line of Android phones. However, AT&T raised eyebrows this week when it opted to replace the built-in Google search functions in Android in favor of Yahoo! search. The very premise of Android is that it should increase Google’s position among the mobile search market. However, Android’s open-source nature means that companies are not obligated to make Google the default search engine on Android phones.
It’s unclear how profitable mobile search deals can be for search engines, but they are very enticing for carriers. How enticing? Well, Microsoft paid Verizon $500 million for the privilege of making Bing the default search engine on Verizon-branded devices. That’s big money for a small device.