Google will develop a mobile search engine tailored for South Korean cell phones in partnership with Korea’s largest wireless operator SK Telecom, says the Korea Times. Google has search deals in place with carriers like Japan’s KDDI, but has recently been eying the Korean market, likely given the high broadband and wireless Internet usage in that country — Google previously announced that it is investing $10 million into a Korean R&D center.
“Google is now working on a mobile search engine customized for Korean cell phones, and the first product will have its debut next month,’’ SK Telecom official Yang Yoon-seon said. “Under the envisioned mobile services, search results will cover the full fixed-line Web on top of wireless search-specific network”
After failing to find much success in the Korean Internet market over the past few years, maybe mobile will offer Google a better way into the country’s broadband marketplace. Google execs often discuss how wireless devices will be the future gateway for online services, but carriers in certain countries are more hesitant to feature Google’s dominant brand name too prominently on devices and carrier decks.