After rumors swirled that Samsung might switch the default search engine for its in-house browser app from Google to Bing — perhaps in time for the Galaxy S24 — a new report suggests that change is no longer happening, which certainly makes the case even more confusing. Google breathed a sigh of relief.
this comes from wall street journal (pass edge), like the original rumor, there isn’t much to prove. The Wall Street Journal said an internal review of whether Samsung should switch from Google to Bing has now been suspended, amid apparent concerns about user disruption and souring its relationship with Google.
Those glaringly negative aspects of any potential switch make the idea of it pretty weird in the first place, though it sounds like Samsung is considering it — perhaps impressed by the swift rollout of various Bing AI features.
Another factor to consider in all of this is that we’re talking about Samsung’s own internet browser app: Google, of course, remains front and center with Chrome for Android. Still, the move will grab a lot of headlines.
We know that Google actually paid Apple to be the default search engine in Safari, an arrangement that might have been easier for Apple since it doesn’t have a search engine of its own. Google then makes billions in advertising revenue from searches that run on iOS (and Samsung phones, actually).
Still, the Wall Street Journal cites “people familiar with the matter” as saying that Samsung is “not permanently closing” the door on a future switch to Bing — so Google executives may have some work to do.
Analysis: Search is changing
One of the ways OpenAI and ChatGPT are changing the tech landscape is by giving Microsoft an intelligent chatbot that can return better search results in certain situations. Google has since embedded its own Bard chatbot into various products, including its flagship web search engine.
This means that in the next few years, we may spend less time opening web browsers and typing our queries, and more time interacting with bots to get the information we need. That, in turn, could hit ad revenue — for both Google and web publishers.
It’s hard to predict how all this will play out, but we may reach a point where Google’s being the number one search engine in Samsung’s Internet browser or Apple’s Safari won’t matter so much if it attracts users in other ways. In fact, it’s somewhat surprising that it’s taken so long for web search to outgrow its original form.
There are all sorts of uncertainties going forward about how these bots get their information and how people who contribute content get compensated, but it will be interesting to see how the search landscape changes and whether Bing (or anyone else) can really challenge Google.