Microsoft pulls Bing iPhone app outside U.S.

Redmond says the application was always meant to be only for the United States and that it is in the process of pulling the app from international iTunes stores.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried

Three months after releasing its Bing application for the iPhone, Microsoft this week said the application was only meant for the United States and that it is pulling the app from non-U.S. versions of the iTunes Store.

"When we released the iPhone application, we inadvertently made it available to all countries in which the Apple Marketplace has a presence," Microsoft said in a statement posted on enthusiast site Neowin.Net.

And in a statement sent to CNET, Microsoft said it is working on international versions of the Bing app.

"We are planning to release international versions of the Bing iPhone application, but we have no dates to share at this time," the company said. "Similar to our larger international strategy with Bing, we don't want to take a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, we want to be thoughtful and ensure we're customizing the product for specific markets."

Earlier this month, Motorola said it was working with Microsoft to deliver Bing in China in the current quarter--but on phones using the Android operating system, as an over-the-air update for existing handsets.

Microsoft released the Bing app for the iPhone and iPod Touch in December. The program includes standard searching, image search, mapping and other features.

Update, 11:25 a.m. PDT: Added comment from Microsoft on international versions of the Bing app.

Update, 2:16 p.m. PDT: Added information on Bing going to China via Android phones.