Google and Yahoo would love part of the growing mobile search business, but phone carriers aren’t eager to have them. Carriers don’t want to be “the dumb pipe that the ISPs became,” one analyst explained. Instead they’re turning to startups like JumpTap and Medio, who provide carrier-branded mobile search. The problem, PC World explains, is that users can surf to Google themselves.
Carriers will need to use their control of the phone’s home screen to craft better mobile-specific tools. “If their experience is lackluster or sub par or comparable, then they're at a disadvantage,” the analyst said, because Google and Yahoo have stronger brands and other features. Carriers must also contend with Microsoft, which can push its mobile search offering through Windows Mobile.