It’s never pretty when Congress tries to wrap its head around technology, a fact which was quite evident when Apple and Google were grilled over issues related to location tracking just a few months ago.
This week, Google chairman Eric Schmidt appeared before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights to defend Google against allegations that the company was actively manipulating its search results to the detriment of its competitors.
As part of the hearings yesterday, newly minted Google employee Susan Creighton – who used to work for the FTC – explained at one point how Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! all bid to become the default search engine on Apple’s iOS devices. Thankfully, Google won that bidding war. Say what you will about Android and Google’s penchant for shanenigans, but when it comes to search, Google’s offering is hands down better than the competition.
But in the midst of Creighton’s testimony, an interesting nugget was let out. Creighton quickly stated, before being interrupted, that 2/3 of all mobile searches on Google originate from iOS devices. That’s pretty telling when you consider Google likes to tout that there are over 500,000 Android activations every day. Still, the statistic perhaps speaks to the higher level of user engagement amongst iOS users than their Android counterparts – which of course has been a longstanding reason why developers have primarily focused their attention on Apple’s iOS platform where users are more inclined to spend money on apps.
What would really be interesting, though, would be to see a breakdown of iOS Google searches broken down by device.