Since its inception, Google has touted Android’s flexibility and potential for personalization. However, one wonders whether AT&T’s decision to strip its first Android phone, the Motorola Backflip, of Google search in favor of Yahoo! search was really what Google had in mind.
That’s exactly what AT&T is doing, as it prepares for the launch of the already unconventional Backflip. Jenny Bridges, a spokeswoman for the carrier, confirmed the change, adding that the Backflip will still come with other integrated Google services.
“It is true that Yahoo is the default search engine on the BACKFLIP. However, you are of course free to access and use Google search if that is what you prefer. Google doesn’t currently make available a widget or app that would let you do Google search directly from your phone’s home screen. It is also worth noting that the BACKFLIP comes preloaded with such Google apps as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Talk, Android Market and YouTube,” Bridges said.
Neverthless, it’s search that Google holds dearest. In fact, some in the industry suggest that the whole purpose behind Google’s development of its own mobile platform was to act as a driver for mobile search revenues. New York-based financial analyst firm Jefferies and Company predicts that Android will boost Google’s mobile search revenue above $500 million in 2011, up from roughly $180 million in 2009.
The Backflip will be available online and in stores on Sunday. The phone will go for $99.99 after mail-in rebate and a two-year commitment.