EU Android search choice screen’s impact delayed due to COVID-19

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The Android search choice screen, which rolled out on March 1 in the EU, has yet to make an impact on the search market due in large part to the coronavirus’ effect on smartphone supply and consumer demand.

An example of the Android search choice screen. Source: Google.

Search choice has technically rolled out. “Starting March 1st, manufacturers have been able to submit builds to Google for approval,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land. “Once approved, manufacturers need to run their device through their supply chain (certification, distribution, etc.) so it can take a few weeks for these to reach the public.”

It seems that even under normal circumstances, the smartphone manufacturing process would result in a somewhat delayed rollout of the search choice screen. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has had an unforeseen impact on the length of the delay.

Slow sales and supply chain. “COVID-19 has impacted mobile phone supply chain and retail sales and so far there doesn’t appear to be any material movement on the Android choice screen yet,” a spokesperson for Info.com, which is set to appear on the search choice screen alongside DuckDuckGo in all 31 EU territories, told Search Engine Land.

Yandex, Qwant, PrivacyWall, GMX, Seznam and Bing are among the other search engines that will appear as the fourth option (alongside Google, DuckDuckGo and Info.com) in different EU territories.

Why we care. It is uncertain whether the search choice screen will produce a significant shift in search market share. Any shifts will be even more gradual due to the pandemic’s stifling of both smartphone supply and consumer demand. For the time being, Google’s dominant share of the European mobile search market will be preserved.

More about marketing in the time of the coronavirus

About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.

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