AT&T Yahoo-ing Android

AT&T’s first Android phone, the Backflip, hits stores March 7th. But if you are planning on getting one, be prepared for a lot less Google than you anticipated. It turns out that the Backflip ships with Yahoo! search installed, and no Google search engine in sight…

While some are taking this as a stab at Google by AT&T and it’s army of iPhone, think again. First of all, this isn’t surprising news - or at least it shouldn’t be. We actually knew back in December that Yahoo! would be the default search engine on the Backflip. Now that it is shipping, I guess the reality of it is finally hitting people. Second, it isn’t like AT&T is anti-Google search. In fact, the iPhone comes with Google search by default. What really happened here is simply a strategic deal by Yahoo! to promote their mobile search engine. The Android operating system is open source, so manufacturers can configure it the way that they want.

If you aren’t satisfied with the Yahoo! mobile search, don’t worry. It is fairly easy to install Google from the app store. As of this time, the Google search engine is the only application that we know with certainty is missing from the standard suite. When the phone hits the open market on Sunday, we will know if there is anything else missing. For instance, is there click-to-call or click-to-nav ability built into Yahoo! search engine by default? And Is Google Maps installed? Etc.

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