Pitting Apple against Blackberry, AT&T will offer a corporate plan for iPhone users, Engadget reported today.
Today's announcement, though, may be the biggest search engine industry news to come out of MacWorld. If the iPhone succeeds in dislodging Blackberry from the enterprise -- and Google maintains its iPhone-Apple ties -- then Google's share of local mobile searches could increase significantly over the next two years.
Google doesn't enjoy the same dominance in local mobile search as in desktop search. Google's strategic business development deals a couple years ago bundled Google desktop search with Dell computers and made Google the default home page on the computer's pre-installed browser.
Engadget blogger Thomas Ricker notes the move by AT&T iPhone comes in lieu of a 3G announcement by Apple. 3G, with service at 5-10 Mb per second, would make wide-area wireless voice telephony and broadband wireless data available in mobile.
With faster speeds and more bandwidth, 3G would likely increase the total volume of local mobile searches.
Increasing the number of searches is the only win-win for the search industry. Slicing and dicing search inventory increases the long tail of searches. With Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask battling for small gains against Google's dominant share of searches, local mobile search -- and the enterprise -- may be the final frontier.
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