Marketing 2 min read

Reports Suggest That Apple is Developing its own Search Engine



For a while now, Google has been the default search engine on Apple devices, and for good reasons. The search giant pays billions of dollars to remain on your iPhones and iPads.

A 2018 estimate by Rod Hall from Goldman Sachs revealed that Google pays roughly $10 a year for every iPhone user. A recent survey shows that there are over 720 million iPhones worldwide. If you multiply that figure by $10, Google is paying over 7.2 billion dollars annually for iPhones alone.

Since there are currently 1.4 billion active Apple devices, the privilege may seem pricey. However, part of Google’s mobile search success relies on its arrangement with Apple.

But the deal may be coming to an end soon. According to recent evidence, the Cupertino-based company might be building a search engine to take on Google.

These include:

  • iOS and iPadOS 14 beta bypasses Google Search with Spotlight Search
  • A significant update to Applebot web crawler page
  • Increase in crawling from Applebot

Besides, Coywolf‘s Jon Henshaw pointed out that Apple has been listing more job announcements for search engineers.

Why Apple Might be Launching a Search Engine

Reports suggest that Apple might be developing a search engine for the same reason it launched a mapping application — control. Owning the default search engine on its devices gives the tech giant a better control of the user experience on its devices.

The search engine can leverage machine learning to deliver search results based on users’ phone data. These include maps, events, notes, photos, messages, music, among others.

It can also provide an on-device web search capability, which Google cannot offer on iPhones and iPads.

Think of the Apple search engine as a highly-personalized data hub like the Google Assistant, but with other benefits. Besides the deep integration with the OS, the search engine won’t have ads, and it’ll be privacy-focused.

How an Apple Search Engine Might Impact Competitors

Search Engine Land speculated that Apple could become the second most popular mobile search engine, behind Google. That’s because Safari is currently the number one mobile browser in the United States.

With that said, the extent of Apple’s search ambition is hazy at the moment. It’s still unclear whether the iPhone makers are working to improve Spotlight Search or extend a new search experience to Safari.

Read More: Study: Google Products Dominate the Search Engine’s First Page

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