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Google Dominates iPhone Search

Data shows that Google handles almost all iPhone search traffic.

Apple and Google may take jabs at one another over the relative merits of the iPhone and Android phones, but Apple's success with the iPhone brings revenue to Google.

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Google receives almost 97% of all iPhone search traffic, according to research released on Monday by online ad network Chitika.

That's because Google is the default search provider in Apple's mobile Safari browser, the dominant iOS Web browser, and because of the popularity of the Google Mobile App, a native iOS application that provides an alternative to browser-based search.

The mobile Safari search toolbar sends 49% of iPhone search traffic to Google, according to Chitika, while 42.24% of iPhone search traffic flows through, accessed through Safari.

The Google Mobile App handles 8.68% of iPhone search traffic, making it more popular than Yahoo Search or Microsoft's Bing search engine on the iPhone.

During Google's Q3 earnings call last week, CEO Eric Schmidt likened the situation in the mobile market to a rising tide that lifts all boats. During the same call, Jonathan Rosenberg, SVP of product management, revealed for the first time Google's annual run rate for mobile advertising revenue: $1 billion.

That doesn't quite measure up to the revenue Apple will realize for selling 14.1 million iPhones during its most recent quarter, which has been estimated to be as high as $650 per iPhone. But mobile advertising revenue, from both search and display ads, should continue to rise for Google.

Until Apple does something dramatic, like replace Google as the default search provider in the mobile Safari search box, Apple's growing torrent of iPhone revenue will carry Google along in comfort and style.

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