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Your next Samsung phone might ditch Google Search for Bing

When you buy an Android phone, you expect Google Search to be installed out of the box as the default search engine. But that may not be the case when you buy your next Samsung phone. According to a report over the weekend, Samsung might abandon Google Search in favor of Bing as the default search engine for future Samsung Galaxy phones.

The possibility that Samsung is considering replacing Google Search with Bing on its smartphones sent Google into a “panic,” according to the New York Times, Why? As the report explains, “An estimated $3 billion in annual revenue is at stake with the Samsung contract.” If Samsung doesn’t want to keep using Google for the default search engine on its phones, that’s $3 billion per year Google will no longer get. And if Samsung decides it wants Bing instead of Google, who knows how many other companies will follow suit and do the same.

Why Samsung wants Bing over Google

Galaxy S23 front in hands.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

While a story like this would have seemed impossible less than a year ago, the rise of AI chatbots has put Bing back in the spotlight in a surprisingly large fashion. Following the massive popularity of ChatGPT, Microsoft integrated the AI technology into its own search engine to create Bing Chat. Although not perfect, Bing Chat has quickly become one of the go-to chatbots on the market — offering far more personal and helpful responses than a “normal” search engine like Google Search.

So far, Google’s response to ChatGPT and Bing Chat has been … less than impressive. The company is slowly testing its Google Bard service, though its rollout and performance have both left much to be desired. The New York Times further reports that Google is working on the “Magi project” to better compete with ChatGPT and Bing Chat. According yothe Times, Magi will add new features and be more conversational.

But as good as Magi could be, it sounds like Google is now delivering too little too late. The report indicates that Samsung is considering the move largely because of Bing’s AI advancements, which is something Google just hasn’t been able to match.

What this means for your Samsung phone

The Galaxy A54 and Galaxy S23 Ultra's camera modules.
Galaxy A54 (right) and Galaxy S23 Ultra Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Assuming Samsung does actually replace Google with Bing on its smartphones, what does that mean for you? Existing Samsung phones would likely continue to feature Google Search as the default search engine. However, future ones would likely ship with Bing preinstalled rather than Google.

You’ll still be able to download apps like Google Chrome and Google Search from the Play Store and use them if you want, but Bing would be available right out of the box.

Of course, that’s assuming Samsung goes through with this change. The report says Google learned about Samsung considering Bing as a search replacement in March, though it doesn’t go into further detail. Samsung may be in deep talks with Microsoft about using Bing on future phones/tablets, or it could just be an idea the company is lightly tossing around.

But whatever the case may be, the fact that Samsung is even considering this move is massive news. Google isn’t going anywhere any time soon, but its grip on search engines may finally be starting to slip.

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Joe Maring
Section Editor, Mobile
Joe Maring is the Section Editor for Digital Trends' Mobile team, leading the site's coverage for all things smartphones…
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