Software // Enterprise Applications
10:30 AM

Even With China Deal, Google's Got A Tough Sell In Mobile Search

Its deal with the world's largest mobile service company is a nice start, though

China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou's all Google-y

China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou's all Google-y

Photo by Kin Cheung/AP
Google now has the world's largest provider of mobile-phone service, China Mobile, as a partner. But mobile search has far to go to be more than the niche service it is today.

China's a fine place to start, though. China Mobile, with about 300 million subscribers, including 4.6 million added in November, has the reach to spur mobile search. The deal means China Mobile will use its portal to give customers access to Google search. There's competition: Nokia agreed to put an icon on its phones for Chinese search rival Baidu's mobile services.

The Chinese are more keen on mobile search than U.S. users, says Yankee Group analyst X.J. Wang. Still, most searches are for ring tones or screen wallpaper, not ad-friendly categories like restaurants and shops.

U.S. mobile search is even more nascent, with both the service options and the screen interfaces falling short of what it will take to get Americans interested. "But the ramp is developing and it will certainly be much more common in two to three years' time," says Gartner analyst Tole Hart. Google must hope this is another emerging mobile technology that takes off in Asia, then finds its way to the United States.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll