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Placeholder and TextColor values are not set. Inspection of view in debugging reveals that SearchBar.TextColor and SearchBar.PlaceholderColor both have -1 values on all attributes(RGBA, HSL).
Further troubleshooting reveals that it's not listening to the style configured for it. Making the following changes to my application resource dictionary (APPLICATION_NAME.xaml) did not update the component. Only setting the properties post initialization was effective.
<Setter Property="TextColor" Value="Black" />
<Setter Property="PlaceholderColor" Value="Gray" />
*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 36042 ***