Google and China Mobile had announced their “mobile search” partnership back in January 2007, but further details are coming to light, thanks to a report published in CEOCIO, a local business magazine. And so far the results of the partnership, according to the article, are mixed:
China’s mobile phone users who’ve been using their phones to access the Internet have been noticing something new lately. A search box appears on China Mobile’s “Monternet,” a portal designed for PDA and smart-phone handheld devices. Through it, users can search for relevant information by just entering keywords.
The service is being described as limited, and at present can support only 6 percent of the total mobile phone models in China, the report says.
Google’s entry is causing ripples, forcing locals to start cutting deals with others. For instance, Beijing-based wireless search service provider Cgogo Technology has teamed up for “local search” services with Nokia. Baidu has an agreement with Nokia to embed its search engine in the Nokia N-Series mobile phones.
Google has been aggressively teaming up with carriers for mobile search: SK Telecom, NTT DoCoMo, and KDDI and China Mobile in Asia, Telefonica, Vodafone and T-Mobile in Europe, and Leap Wireless in the US amongst them. (Our full rundown of Google’s Mobile Search efforts is here.) Yahoo is not sitting still and has developed its own offerings. Both companies realize that mobile is the next big advertising opportunity.