The New Year has ushered in a number of high-profile partnerships in the mobile search space, confirming our prediction last summer that as go the major search engines, so goes mobile search. Recent events have also confirmed that savvy marketers and developers need to start thinking about making the move to XHTML sooner rather than later. Mobile web browsing is on the cusp of making the leap from “need it now” applications to recreational and research applications. Here’s a recap of the stuff that’s too important to miss:
What has legions of devotees and a sleek, minimalist design? If you answered Google or the Motorola Razr phone, you’re correct. And now Google and Motorola have teamed up to integrate Google search technology in all future Motorola phones. With the push of a single key, Motorola users will be whisked directly to Google for all their search needs.
Google has also announced that it is partnering with Opera to become the default search engine in the Opera Mobile and Opera Mini browsers. The Opera Mobile browser is available for smartphones from several manufacturers, including Nokia, Motorola, and Samsung.
Cingular and AT&T in the US will soon be able to use the new Yahoo! Go Mobile package on Nokia mobile phones. In addition to mobile search, Yahoo! Go Mobile includes email, instant messaging, news, and more.
Why bring the web to the phone when you can bring the phone to the web? That seems to be the reasoning behind the development of the Skype WiFi phone. The phone (manufactured by Netgear) will enable Skype users to make calls wherever a WiFi internet connection is available. Given that free and reliable WiFi hotspots are few and far between, the Skype phone is probably not a threat to standard cell phone with mobile search and browsing capabilities.
Phone manufacturers, carriers, and search engines are realizing how lucrative such partnerships can be. As search becomes an integrated part of the next generation of cell phones, it will become an integrated part of cell phone users’ lives. And visibility in the top positions will be more important than ever.