While Google is currently the undisputed king (making others the queen, prince, baron, duke and viscount) of search that’s not necessarily going to automatically translate into mobile — the next big opportunity. Indeed, mobile is potentially disruptive (ring the bell!) of online market share.
GigaOm’s Katie Fehrenbacher has a good post on Google and mobile along these lines with some good data.
Nothwithstanding Sprint’s deal with Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! are in arguably the strongest positions to capture search usage on mobile devices (which is why Sprint did the deal). Having an e-mail relationship with a user — unless text and mobile IM completely take over — is an advantage (yes, MSFT has plenty of mobile e-mail relationships it can leverage).
But the user experience will trump almost all other factors in the end. As I’ve previously written, mobile social applications are an interesting “x variable” in mobile. So is voice to some degree.
Google and Yahoo! (and everybody else) will ultimately have to earn mobile consumers’ loyalty through a good user experience, and can’t take that usage for granted — even though brand strength makes for a good head-start.