Samsung’s newest phone, the Fascinate, runs Google’s Android software, but it doesn’t have Google search on it.Bing is the only search engine choice, Matt Buchanan at Gizmodo reports.
Moreover, Google Search widget in the Android Market is blocked or hidden.
This is the risk of offering an “open” mobile operating system for Google. Handset makers and carriers can push Google off the phone, thus negating the whole point of making Android, which drives mobile search, which makes Google money.
The good news for Google? Buchanan says the phone is really crappy, due in part to Verizon’s ham-fisted decision to force Bing on the phone, which isn’t implemented very well. Verizon also put a bunch of other “crapware” on it too.
If a Bing phone doesn’t sell well, it sends a message to handset makers to stick with Google, or at least offer it as an option.