The South Korean Market for mobile and mobile search has been growing rapidly, and the players concerned are going all out to grab as large a share as they can.
It has been reported that in 2010 the monthly traffic for search through smart phones has gone up by 67 times. Users are now turning to the mobile for a variety of services.
A study by AdMob has shown that 29% of users use the mobile internet for over 1 hour per day and 35% of them use the mobile internet for longer than they watch TV. 24% spend more time on the mobile internet than on desktops. The mobile is also being used frequently for entertainment. 58% of users use the mobile internet at least 5 times a day.
But this growing popularity has generated some unhealthy competition between the popular local search engines Naver and Daum against Google.
Naver and Daum are considering filing a complaint with the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) against Google.
The problem is that most smartphones are preloading the Google’s Android OS as the default search engine due to which users need to download the apps to access the local search engines. The local search engines are upset as this has resulted in a loss of market share for them.
The market for web searches shows that Naver has about 70% of the market share and Daum about 20% while Google has less than 10%.
On the other hand, for mobile searches, Naver has about 50% of the market share and Daum and Google have about 20% each.
Google on their part have said that the handset manufacturers are free to decide which OS they want Android is an open platform.
Many online communities have also accused Naver and Daum of having resorted to similar unfair trade practices in the past, and they are now crying foul because they are sailing in the same boat.