According to Adam Bunn, the company's director of search, the idea is that instead of searching for a website that can answer a question, smartphone users will prefer to find and install apps than can answer that and similar questions.
"To maintain any kind of grasp on the mobile user, search engines will need to be able to point out apps that might be relevant to the searcher's search - and even give them a one-click install option for when the search is being carried out from a mobile with the right operating system. This will manifest as another type of vertical search on Google and Bing, as well as being pulled into the normal results as a universal search element," said Mr Bunn.
This makes some sense from a user's perspective, but doesn't really consider the motivations of the search engines themselves.
The basic model is that search provides an opportunity to deliver relevant advertising. But if the search engines divert future searches to apps, they transfer advertising opportunities away from their own web interface and towards the individual apps.