Verizon’s Bing Deal Could be a Very Big Deal

After the recent news and hubbub about Verizon and their decision to drop Google Search in favor of Bing, we decided to do some looking into the matter.  Incidentally, our friend Kyle (TheDroidGuy) was already doing some investigating on his own.  Apparently, this Bing deal might go beyond the Samsung Fascinate.  We’ve heard some unconfirmed reports that Verizon may possibly be ditching Google for their Droid lineup as well.  Kyle mentions that he has heard the same from two separate sources.

Look, I get it.  Licensing software and exclusive partnerships are what help differentiate handsets.  Removing one app or service in favor of another stinks to be sure.  At least Verizon customers still have the option of dropping apps in from outside sources.  Extracting the Google search app/widget from another build and installing the APK sounds like a feasible workaround that stage.  Of course, rooting a phone always gets rid of the bloatware and heavy-handedness that comes with smart phones.

Sound Off!

Would this be a deal breaker for you as a potential Verizon customer?  Are you so for Google or against Bing that you’d consider going elsewhere?  Are there any Verizon reps out there willing to talk with us?  Off the record and anonymously, of course!

  • competition is great. loving this move.

    With Google announcing instant search today, it’s up to Bing to bring something more to the table for the Android platform.

    have no problem with this move by Verizon.

    • Usman

      This isn’t competition! It’s Verizon making the decision to lock the phone down, just like AT&T did with the Motorola Backflip…and we saw how well that phone sold. You can’t change to another search option or maps app, because Verizon has locked those apps out.

      Verizon is taking away choice from anyone who buys these phones.

  • JoAnn

    I have no trouble with the move so long as Verizon doesn’t preclude me from deleting Bing and replacing it with Google.

    If Google’s not even an option, then neither is Verizon for my next phone.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Deus Invictus

      From what I understand so far, you can’t remove bing and install google. which I agree that’s a deal breaker for me

      • g

        I don’t know if that’s even possible. Google Search and Google Voice Search are both available from Android Market, and both have widgets you can put on the launcher (desktop).

        If the search box is somehow embedded into the launcher, then just get another launcher, like ADW.Launcher or LauncherPro from the market.

        • Usman

          At least a few people who’ve gotten their hands on the Fascinate have confirmed that Google Maps and Search don’t show up in the Market, or don’t install on the handset. Neither does Yahoo Search.

          Verizon does have the ability to block certain apps from being installed, and they’re over-using it.

          • ymala1

            What seriously? I’m usually a supporter of MS, but this move, if it’s how you said it, is just beyond sad. Like a lot of other people here have expressed, I think it’s fine if Bing is the default search provider, but there’s no excuse for Verizon locking down the system to other providers.

            I hate it when cell operators insist on wielding these heavy handed tactics on customers that are paying for the device. Whether or not illegal, it’s just wrong.

            BTW Yahoo Search not showing up is not so huge since Yahoo’s moved over to letting Bing actually doing the searches for them, but yeah, that’s the end user’s decision.

        • Barkleyfan

          Sounds nice and all, but they block it in market. The apps simply don’t show up. So you have to find a way to side-load it. And they can lock that down too, like Blue Deathstar did on Backflip. It’s getting retarded.

    • Omari

      I totally agree with this comment. If I’m not mistaken isn’t Bing made by Microsoft? If that’s true what other bloatware and crap will come in later Verizon smart phones if they stick with Bing?

  • Roog

    I have been with Verizon for years, however being forced to accept Bing on an unrooted device of my choice would be a deal-killer. I would switch carriers.

  • I would drop Verizon as soon as possible if Google goes! Definitely a deal breaker!

  • BogartOfElCajon

    Choice, Verizon, choice! I’m glad I’m not in Verizon. I wonder though if because of this, Google will back down on whatever Google-Verizon they are dealing with regards to that Net Neutrality crap.

  • I will definitely switch my phone carrier. I made a huge mistake switching from Sprint to Verizon. I bought Droid Incredible, first it took more than 3 weeks to port my number even though I had authorized Sprint to switch the number right away. And now no Froyo update for my phone from Verizon. I wish Google does the update so we can get it quicker.

  • Brian

    And these carriers wonder why we users root/jailbreak at the first chance. Silly carriers.

    • CopierITguy

      You have hit the nail right on the head, Brian! Essentially, VZW or any other carrier can try whatever they want, but there will always be some dev out there that will find a way around it and as long as sites like this stick around, we’ll all be alright!

      Don’t let the man keep you down!

  • alamoe

    every time i hear about the new ways that carriers are trying to lock-down Android it makes me so glad i got a Nexus One while i could 😉

  • This is more in line with the Verizon of old… take something great, and cripple it. I am positive this Bing stuff will be locked on to the phone and you won’t be able to remove it. I am all for choice and options but I bet that’s not what you get here. Your option will be to waste storage space installing the apps you want along side the ones Verizon says you want.

    • Usman

      You’re totally right. Verizon has locked the Bing Search and Maps onto the handset. They’ve also gone further… they’ve somehow restricted the ability to install Google Search and Google Maps from the Market as well.

  • Havoc70

    I am for business growing and developing, however, its MY PHONE AND MY CHOICE.
    If users want Bing, they can use it, if users want Google they should be able to CHOOSE!

    If they push this to all Android’s i will be dropping Verizon like a hot potato!
    I wont have a search provider shoved down my throat by Verizon, same as Osama(obuma) and his healthcare crap!

    • Rick

      I really hope they don’t push Bing to android phone like they did with their Blackberry phones. I too will drop them like a sack of potatoes and wonder if they voided out the contract since my Motorola Droid is no longer a Google Experience phone, if they push Bing out.

  • TtWEAK

    Yes, this would be a deal breaker if I had a choice of carrier. Unfortunately, Verizon has the best coverage in my area. It sucks that they can’t design a handset as good as Sprint, despite using the same brands and same models, Verizon consistently disappoints with it’s phones.

    It also sucks that they make deals with inferior search providers. Google gives away it’s operating system for free to carriers. This is a stab in the back. Google changed the game, and now Microsoft is using money to try and join the party. What is Microsoft giving away Windows Mobile for free now? Is it being open-sourced? That would be the only reasonable deal I could see them laying out, that I would even consider.

    What about HTC? Will they go along with this? They seem to have an intimate relationship with Google. Then again, Verizon and Google were quite cozy very recently, if I can recall. This will seriously hurt the Droid brand. Bad idea.

    I suppose us Linux users knew Microsoft would weasel it’s way onto our beloved OS sooner or later. It is superior to their own offerings, be it on a phone or PC, Linux always wins.

  • Christopher

    I completely agree. I think the Google experience is what I am buying (from Gmail to Google Search), but I am not against choice. I am against being forced.

    In addition, how will this work with the internal search of the phone (i.e. contacts and apps)?

  • snlu178

    Deal Breaker for sure.

    I am an N1 owner on ATT. No way in hell will I go to VZW if they do this. The rumors are that there will be no sideloading allowed either so the ability to replace Bing is broken.

    I think this is offensive of VZW. Android / Google built the Droid line. For them to run to MSFT for some $$$ is wrong.

    The old adage of “dance with who brung ya” is where I stand. If this stands I would NEVER buy a VZW Android phone.

  • Kevin

    All Google needs to do is release the Google Search application to the market and this is all over. Google probably hasn’t released a stand-alone packaged version of their search yet because nearly everyone ships it with the phone.

    • Rick

      They already have Google Search app in the market. Other sites are reporting that Verizon is blocking GS app being found, plus they are not allowing side load search of any kind to be installed.

      • Usman

        Bingo! The app is there, but can’t be installed to the Fascinate thanks for Verizon.

  • brandon

    It’s preventing me from buying this Fascinate. I’m sure the purchase rate will be low on the device and the return rate will be very high when people realize they aren’t getting Google with their Google phones. I can’t imagine Verizon will keep it up if they can’t sell the phones.

  • Muddy13

    Are they (Verizon) going to install an update and add Bing to current android phones like they did on Blackberry? Maybe this time they will allow users to delete it (can’t even type that with a straight face).

    If they do push it to current phones, I say we file a class action lawsuit and stick it to Verizon like they are sticking it to us!

    Down with Bing – Google all the way!

    • Rick

      If Verizon does push Bing to the first Droids, my wife and I will be joining the class action lawsuit.

  • Darkseider

    Root, rip, replace. OK now that that is solved with the Fascinate does it matter? Granted not everyone will do it but those of us who give a damned and are reading this site probably will. To the average Joe out there they won’t know the difference. As for the rumor of not sideloading apps? I would like to see that one. So far ADB can be used to circumvent even the tightest of locked down devices and root + hack removes that problem altogether.

    • Root is nice, but users shouldn’t have to do that in this situation. The carrier needs to give the user the freedom to choose.. or the user can shop at the carrier’s competition.

  • Dear Verizon,
    If you remove Google from my search/navigation choices, then I will remove YOU from my handset/carrier choices. You’re not the only game in town, it’s as simple as that. I will definitely be keeping an eye on you.

  • C Jacks

    Verizon has had numerous class action suits filed against them for their bad practices. Just because they are the largest carrier does not make them the best carrier. Is Microsoft the best software company just because they are the largest?

    Very big companies become that way usually by deception or theft. I am not claiming that Verizon has cheated anyone, maybe overcharged people in their pricing, but they knew about that when they signed up. Now deception?? How can you have a Google device without Google?? Will Microsoft sell you their operating system without IE?? Bing??

    Yet Verizon wants to sell you a Google device without the service that made Google who they are. Their search engine. And makes sure you can’t get it??

    Verizon, WAKEUP. The general public is not stupid. Once they find out about your dealings, you will pay the price.

    Sorry for the rant. I will never switch to Verizon because of these practices. ATT, Sprint, T-Mobile may do things similar, but not as brash.

  • Luke

    Are they going to come and scratch out “with Google” and write w/ a sharpie “with Bing” on the backside of my Incredible?


  • Ron

    If Verizon goes Bing, then I’m going back to ATT, hopefully they will have some REAL android phone choices by then. I love my Droid…….without Bing!!!

    • Usman

      You’re much better off going with Sprint of T-mobile. AT&T is just the “GSM Verizon”.

  • Horrible idea on Verizon’s part. A lot of people like Android because of Google and all that they offer. If I wanted Bing I’d wait for Windows Phone 7. Or maybe they’re going to replace Bing with Google on WP7 and call it even.

    • g

      They should do that anyway. lol

  • J. Harrris

    Class action lawsuit time. Lets all stop all the talk and do something.

  • Steven

    Can’t stand Bing, deal breaker for me.

  • This isn’t anything new on Big Red’s part. They’ve been doing this crap to BlackBerry users for years now (since they can easily push services and icons via BIS). I guess they’ll do whatever they can to make yet another buck. One of the main reasons I got a Droid was because it was so tightly tied to the Google experience. I like that I just put in my gmail address and everything just syncs. Email, calendar, contacts, etc. I would definitely not use a phone where I could not have this experience.

    If anything, Big Red should offer the choice. At least offer up one or two pure “with Google” phones (all gone now as even the Droid 2 is skinned) for those of us who really want it.

  • Lex

    Can they push Bing onto LG Ally? If I woke up tomorrow with my Froyo update waiting for me, do I have to be afraid of a Bing overhaul sneaking in with it?

    If they try to do that, I’m pretty sure it’s grounds for getting out of my contract, no?

  • ApexPredation

    If I wanted a microsoft app I would have got a windows device. Android is getting molested! Google should not be allowing it! Android is supposed to be about freedom and options! I had to switch from T-Mobile to Vzn due to my location. So far the only good thing from them is I have some 3g. As soon as Tmo updates my zone I’m dropping Vzn like a bad habbit. Especially if they force bing.

  • ac

    Certainly a deal breaker if they remove Google search.

  • synoodle

    This was a major reason for me leaving vwz after 5 years! I want GOOGLE, not bing. I am now on Sprint epic and loving it!

  • Barkleyfan

    I was very happy with my Droid 1. I almost returned my Droid X. The hardware is great. The software was buggy and LONG overdue for a fix. Thanks to the hacking community, I got a leak installed that fixed my issues, just a couple days before my 30 day window was up. I am finally happy with my purchase. However, between Moto and VZW, I’ll likely be jumping ship rather than continue to workaround their proprietary vaporware and locked bootloaders. I don’t really care if they’re listening to me or not. I have options.

  • Mark k landrieu

    Hate Bing. I feel completely violated.
    I am so disgusted with corporate America I just can’t get over it.
    This is just not America any longer.
    Please knock it off!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    If Bing was forced on my phone such that I couldn’t change it to be Google default (ie URL bar searches google, search key is google, widgets are google, etc etc) then I’d drop Verizon altogether and go to AT&T or Sprint.  I’m not using Bing on my PC either and this stuff pushes me further away.  Not going to even consider it.