Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mobile War: Apps To Be More Popular Than Search?

There's been talk about Apple combating Google's alleged betrayal when they launched Android by creating its own search engine. That may still happen but no one has seen any kind of evidence to support that assertion. It's just a natural escalation should Apple choose to do it. After all, Bing is Microsoft's best hope at dislodging Google from the online ad market.

Instead, Steve Jobs seems to be striking back at Google through another way: apps. In the most recent Apple event where he unveiled iPhone 4.0, Steve Jobs doesn't think mobile search is the future. No one is searching on their mobile devices, at least, not in the ways they do on the traditional desktop environment. I'll have to agree with him on that point.

But I disagree that no one is searching on their iPhones. I do it all the time. But that's probably an exaggeration on his part to drive in his next concept. Apps will drive search in ways that mobile users find most convenient.

If you want a restaurant review or a place to hang out, you probably would have an easier time of it than going through mobile Safari and entering the query in the search box.

Apple promises to provide the means for users to access information more quickly through apps than what they can do through search engines.

In the Yelp example, I agree but if you're trying to be a smart ass at a party and you want to look up information on a particular obscure matter, traditional searches is the way to go, be it through Safari or the Bing app.

I still need to be convinced and with the wait-and-see attitude on iAds from developers and advertisers, I think they're in the same boat.

But hey, this is Steve Jobs. If anyone thinks he or she can upend a market, it is His Jobsness. But we'll need to see when the iPhone 4.0 is out on the market for a few months and see what kind of innovative ways developers can come up with to support or debunk Apple's assertions about mobile search.

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