- Samsung gives up on replacing Google with Bing as the default search engine on its Android smartphones
- The decision comes after tense negotiations with Google
- Bing remains a future option for Samsung, which could take advantage of its ChatGPT generative AI to compete with Google
Samsung has decided not to switch to Bing for its Android smartphones, at least for now. The South Korean giant had threatened to get rid of Google in favor of Microsoft’s search engine, which now integrates generative AI ChatGPT. But according to a report from wall street journal, Samsung suspended its project in the face of business risks and pressure from Google.
A lucrative contract with Google
Samsung is a crucial partner for Google, which dominates the search engine market with 90% share in several countries. Every year the American pays over $3 billion to South Korea to make its search the default option on its Android devices. This contract is in addition to the one with Apple, which brings in Google 20 billion dollars per year.
These agreements allow Google to reach billions of users and generate colossal advertising revenues. But they are also a source of tension with smartphone manufacturers, who must comply with Google’s requirements to access the Play Store and Android applications.
Samsung, the world leader in the smartphone market, has therefore sought to reduce its dependence on Google by developing its own alternatives, such as the Galaxy App Store or the SwiftKey keyboard. The latter has also received a major update that brings Bing’s AI to Galaxy devices. A maneuver that then motivated Samsung to replace Google with Bing as the default search engine. Enough to piss off Google.
Bing, a real threat to Google
Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, has long been the laughingstock of the web. But thanks to the integration of ChatGPT (made possible by a colossal investment in OpenAI), it stands out as a serious alternative to Google. This technology, developed by OpenAI, allows Bing to offer personalized and creative responses to user queries. It has enabled it to gain millions of daily users and narrow the gap with its historical rival.
Faced with this rise in power, Google has not remained idly by. Lagging behind, the company hastily launched its own chatbot, Bard AI, which also offers several AI-powered features. But Bard AI has yet to meet the same success as ChatGPT, which has financial and technical support from Microsoft. The new features announced by Google at Google I/O 2023 promise great progress. But Bard remains limited to the United States and a few rare countries, when Bing is available everywhere now.
Faced with the rise of Bing, Google was panicked when Samsung floated the idea of switching to Bing on its Android smartphones. Such a change would have had far-reaching consequences for Google, which would have lost a significant portion of its audience and revenue.
Samsung keeps the door open to Bing
Eventually, Samsung has given up on its plan to switch to Bing, At least for the moment. According to wall street journal, Samsung has decided not to discuss the matter further internally. At issue are concerns about how the change might be perceived in the market as well as the impact on its business.
It may also be that Samsung has obtained better contractual conditions with Google during the negotiations explains the WSJ. But it may also be that Samsung keeps Bing as an option for the future, if ever Google were to disappoint or impose rules that were too restrictive.
The report of wall street journal indicates that Samsung does not “not definitively closing the door to Bing as a future option”. The South Korean manufacturer could therefore take advantage of the ChatGPT generative AI to offer a different and innovative experience to its customers.
Samsung is therefore backtracking on Bing, but not completely. The South Korean giant knows it has a major trick up its sleeve to pressure Google, just in case.