In what happens to be the first noteworthy challenge to Google's search monopoly after over a decade, Samsung is reportedly considering replacing Google with Microsoft's Bing as the default search engine, according to a report by New York Times.
To put that into perspective, there are about 4.4 billion Samsung smartphone users worldwide, according to Forbes data. Up until now, Google has long held an essential monopoly on the search market, commanding a market share of about 90%, with billions of daily users and a search business worth $162 billion as of 2022.
However Samsung's reported "deliberations" represent the first potential crack at Google’s seemingly impregnable search business that could put Alphabet at a loss of $3 billion in annual revenue.
With a similar contract between Alphabet and Apple, which is worth about $20 billion in annual revenue to Alphabet, is also due for renewal later this year, but it is hard to tell what direction Apple would go if this Samsung moves ahead with Bing.
The brewing rivalry between Google and Microsoft in the search engine market was set in motion after Microsoft incorporated OpenAI's ChatGPT into its Bing search results earlier this year, making it an arguably more versatile search engine than Google's. Although Google subsequently released its own chatbot, Bard, the AI technology received mixed reviews.
The tech giant is now sprinting to protect its core business with a flurry of projects, including updates to its search engine and plans for an all-new one under the project name "Magi" to give partners more reasons to choose Google.
Following the report about Samsung's potential move to replace Google with Microsoft's Bing as the default search engine on its devices, Alphabet's stock reportedly slid as much as 4% on Monday, resulting in an estimated loss of about $55 billion in market value.