Samsung could be preparing to switch the native search engine on its Galaxy smartphones from Google Search to Microsoft Bing. And, naturally, the world's largest manufacturer of Android phones dropping your key product isn’t a good look if you're Google.
Bing with ChatGPT and Google Bard have re-opened what many thought was a closed debate around the best search engine. The New York Times has reported Samsung is currently in negotiations with Microsoft to bring Bing to its future devices.
This puts an existing contract between Samsung and Google, worth around $3 billion annually, in jeopardy.
While it would still be possible to download Chrome and use Google on Samsung devices, should this deal go ahead, they won't come pre-installed as the go-to search option. Considering Android is a Google-created platform, it would be quite a shock for Samsung to switch to Microsfoft’s search engine.
Samsung phones typically use the Samsung Internet browser, which itself is a chromium-based browser, so this too might change.
What is Google’s response?
Google was caught off guard by the sudden rise of Bing with ChatGPT and was late to the party with its own Google Bard AI tool. Worried about being caught out again, Google has supposedly accelerated the implementation of AI into its search engine with a new project dubbed “Project Magi”.
Offering a far more personalized search tool, Google has devoted a large amount of staff to Magi, supposedly in an effort to demonstrate an early version in time for May’s Google I/O 2023 event and win Samsung back.
According to reports, the early version of Magi will be limited to just one million users, aiming to expand to 30 million by the end of 2023.
However, Google has been stung by rushing launches recently. One mistake made by an early version of Google Bard cost the company $100 billion. So it should probably mix haste with care on this latest project.