Darcy Travios has an interesting article on Forbes about the difference between Apple and Google on mobile devices going forward. I’d be hard pressed to bet against either of these companies, but he makes a good case that Apple is better positioned at this time.
The thrust of his argument is in the area of search, and it makes sense. He argues that search is a completely different animal in the mobile space as opposed to the desktop/laptop space (emphasis mine):
And, to reiterate, the success of the iPhone is due, in part, to the brilliance of the app store and the convenient delivery of (not search for) the services and information consumers want.
He believes that searching on a mobile device is too difficult, and the rise of specialized mobile apps that essentially do the searching for you largely replaces the necessity of that task. I think he’s got a point. I use search on my desktop machines every day, but I can’t remember the last time I did a browser search for anything on my iPhone.
To be sure, it’s not just because of the apps; the mobile form factor isn’t well-suited for searches. Still, I believe searches are drastically reduced on mobile devices, and therefore so are the ads displayed on search results pages. The lack of ads hits Google right in their main revenue stream.
Bottom line is this: If you’re a company that relies primarily on ad revenue from searches, but the hot new platform with chart-busting growth potential is one that does not need or encourage such searches, you can’t ride that wave. Apple will not only ride that wave, they’re likely to crest it.
What about you? How often do you “Google” on your mobile device?
According to Microsoft, Bing has done well in its first month:
We saw 8 percent growth in unique users to Bing.com in June, which is an important indicator that you are trying Bing and the word is spreading.
I’m sure that, coming from Microsoft, some of this is hyperbole, but probably no more so than other companies “exaggerate”.
In my view, even if the exact figure may be disputed, I am not surprised that Bing has likely done well so far. I rather like it.
In fact, I’ve set it as my default search in Internet Explorer (though I hardly use IE) and Firefox. Unfortunately, I can’t set it as my default in Safari, because Apple seems to think there are only two search engines: Google and Yahoo. Come on, Apple, let’s open that up a bit, OK?
Interesting story from Mary Jo Foley on Microsoft picking up more Yahoo! executive talent. It’s interesting because of this comment:
I’ve seen a few industry watchers refer to these moves as Microsoft “poaching” Yahoo’s talent. But I wonder whether this is a case of Microsoft poaching or Yahoos jumping ship (or maybe a little bit of both)
I think she has a point; it’s almost certainly a little of both.
One thing is for sure, and I alluded to this in my review of Bing, I don’t think Microsoft needs to mess with caring (or even pretending to care) about Yahoo’s search business so much. Bing is a nice service, and just may pick up Yahoo’s business without even the hint of a buyout.
Heck, Bing even got Google to sit up and take notice.