updated 10:45 pm EDT, Mon September 8, 2008
ATT moves to Yahoo search
AT&T announced it will be using Yahoo oneSearch as the default search engine on the majority of its cell phones, excluding the iPhone, according to InformationWeek. With the rapid growth of mobile internet, both search engine giants have been working to lock into exclusive contracts with wireless companies. Google holds a strong position with 61 percent of the mobile browser share compared to Yahoo's 18 percent.
The widespread distribution of internet capable phones has been one factor pushing the mobile web market. GPS capability is another particularly important tool for advertisers- knowing where a user is enables the search engine to send location based ads, significantly increasing the income potential.
The iPhone was designed to maximize internet capabilities, and its owners generally use those functions far more often than any other phones. Google's presence on the iPhone and future use on its Android device will make it a strong competitor for the mobile web market in the future. The company also has exclusive contracts with Sprint, and is working on a deal with Verizon.