As you may have noticed in the photo of the Samsung Fascinate up above, the device comes preloaded with Bing search rather than Google. This is nothing new, as phones have shipped in the past with a search engine other than Google preloaded. What is interesting about the Fascinate, however, is that owners of the device are unable to change the search engine on their handsets to Google. Not only that, but the Google Search bar is not available in either the Android Widgets menu or in the Market. The Droid Guy tried sideloading the Google Search bar onto the Fascinate and was unable to get it to work, even though everything went smoothly with other Galaxy S handsets. After doing some investigating, The Droid Guy was told by two of their Verizon tipsters that the carrier is planning to drop Google Search from all of its future Android devices, opting to go with Bing search instead.
Considering how friendly Google and Verizon have been in the past, this news comes as quite a surprise. A Verizon spokesperson said in the past that the carrier has a great relationship with Microsoft and Bing, but that users would be able to change the search engine if they would like. That doesn't appear to be the case with the Fascinate, though, as I pointed out earlier. Let's hope that this rumor stays a rumor, because giving consumers a choice is always the best way to go.