April 19, 2011

South Korean Search Engines vs. Google

South Korean Search Engine Companies recently filed complaints against Google claiming the Android that often comes preloaded on a phone, has Google as the default search engine and makes for uncompetitive practices in the growing mobile search market. NHN Corporation is the owner of the largest South Korean search engine, Naver. The second largest is Daum. Both companies asked the South Korean Trade Commission to Investigate whether Google intentionally offered their Android Operating System free to phone manufacturers, in order to reach the South Korean consumers directly when they buy phones with Google already installed as the search engine. The South Korean Search Market is competitive, especially with a growing base of smart phone users moving into the future.

Worldwide, Google's Android is expected to become the preferred Operating System on most Smart Phones. In South Korea, about 2/3 of all Smart Phones sold in 2010, were running on Google's Android OS . Combined, Naver and Daum control more than 70% of the mobile internet search market in South Korea. Part of the complaint was that Google was blocking installations of selecting a different search engine for your phone if it was Android equipped. The newspaper ran a story about this the other day and said it was proven that switching the search engine on an Android ran phone was possible. Nevertheless, the South Korean Search Engine giants do not want to yield market share to Google or any other competitor.

South Korean Mobile Search Market

South Korean Mobile Search Market
The reality that more and more people are buying smart phones or trading their old cells in to get one, means that in South Korea, the Mobile Search market is expected to expand rapidly. Ad revenue from Mobile Search should grow, and a battle is on for Search Engine users who may be using it more from their phone than ever before. The numbers are staggering for the mobile phone growth. Looking at South Korea in 2009, the country had 800,000 Smart Phone Registered users. Now, the number is higher than 10 million with many analyst predicting that it will reach 20 million smart phone users by the end of this year. Whatever the number, one thing is clear, smart phones are on the rise, and competitive markets for mobile ad revenue are emerging in places beyond the United States where it use to to be Bing and Google who were the big competitors. They still are of course, but Google has more than just Bing on its mind in regards to its competition, it is looking to increase market share around the world. South Korean Companies undoubtedly will look to do the same.

Short Android Introduction Video

As I was researching Android after reading about they complaints from the two South Korean Search Engine companies, I came across this interesting video. Nick Sears is one of the co-founders of Android, he is the first person speaking in the video. It's short but just like its title, it is a very brief introduction into Android. Although I can see the South Korean company's point, I don't think Google is responsible for breaking any laws or conducting improper strategies to gain market share. Its like accusing Microsoft of having a monopoly on computers, since many come with the Microsoft windows preloaded. I think South Korea will have to find a way to remain competitive, much in the same way Google has been able to enter markets around the world. The Mobile Search Market is growing and growing fast!

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