Samsung has decided against switching to Bing for its default search engine, handing Google a win at a time when its search business is under fire.
Reports surfaced in mid-April that Samsung was considering a switch to Bing as the default search engine that ships with its devices. The news sent Google into a panic, with executives previously believing their exclusivity deals were virtually unassailable.
According to The Wall Street Journal, it appears Google can breathe a sigh of relief, with the outlet’s sources saying Samsung has decided to stick with the search giant as its default option. The company has reportedly shut down the internal review process tasked with determining the best course of action.
The decision is a big win for Google at a time when it is feeling pressure on its search business for the first time in years. Microsoft’s fast adoption of ChatGPT as the basis of Bing caught Google off guard. Despite scrambling to catch up, Google’s efforts have yet to offer real competition to Microsoft’s Bing AI.
At the same time, Samsung’s decision is a major loss for Microsoft. Aside from the financial value, estimated at roughly $3 billion, a switch to Bing would have helped Microsoft put a major dent in Google’s search dominance. At this point, despite having the superior AI, Microsoft is still struggling to translate that into substantial gains in the search market.
The other unknown factor is Samsung itself. According to WSJ’s sources, the company has become increasingly wary of its dependence on Google’s software — an uncomfortable position for a company whose phones ship a Google-made OS. So it’s entirely possible Samsung may simply be biding its time until it’s more convenient to dump Google search.
The next battle to watch between these two search and AI giants will be Apple’s deal with Google. It’s a safe bet that Microsoft will pull out all the stops to convince Apple to jump ship.