updated 09:55 am EST, Thu February 14, 2008
Google: iPhone searches
Google has announced that Apple's iPhone is dwarfing the competition in Internet searches, with Web surfers using the iPhone 50 times more than any other mobile handset. "We thought it was a mistake and made our engineers check the logs again," Vic Gundotra, head of Google's mobile operations told the Financial Times at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The results are bolstering Google's confidence about generating revenues from the mobile Internet arena.
Gundotra says mobile internet searches could overtake searches conducted from desktop systems within several years if the trend continues, with more searches translating to increased revenues for Google. The search giant currently does not separate its mobile revenues, but notes that the business is growing above expectations both in usage and revenues.
Google lost a contract with T-Mobile to rival search engine Yahoo, but said such contracts are becoming less important as increasing numbers of mobile users search beyond an operator's own site.
"The world is changing. Users want an internet without fences. They know how to type in Google.com if they want to get to it," Gundotra said. "Two years ago the operators were still playing the role of gatekeepers but that is no longer the role for them."
Google's head of mobile operations reiterated that the company is unlikely to build its own mobile device, stating that the company wants every phone to be a Google phone.
"We are ultimately talking about thousands of devices," he said.
Google announced its plans to develop an open source operating system called 'Android' earlier this year, and has thus far recruited 34 partners as part of an alliance to develop that system.
The first Android products are expected no later than the second half of 2008.