Apple and Google have neck-to-neck fight when it comes to the comparison of their products.
If Google has Android, Apple has iOS.
If Google owns Chrome, Apple’s answer is Safari.
If Google Maps are there, Apple comes up with Maps.
The iPhone has seized a huge smartphone market share compared to Google Pixel phone.
But there is one thing that Google owns but Apple doesn’t.
Yeah, that’s a search engine.
Google Search is the most used search engine in the world with over 90% of market share. Other search engines like Yahoo or Bing cannot rub shoulders with Google Search.
And Apple has geared up to challenge this monopoly of Google with its own search engine.
If reports are to be believed, Apple is all set to launch its search engine. And the Cupertino company has its own reasons for that, from data security, leveraging on the opportunity of Siri and iCloud to a tumultuous relationship with Google.
No Smoke without Fire—Evidence That Apple is Serious about its Search Engines
In one of his recent Coywolf’s blog post, Jon Henshaw claimed that Apple has been hiring for search engineers. He also added that Spotlight Search, an iOS search feature, can replace Google Results. The company has also upgraded its Web crawler support page (Applebot) with new data on how it shows results.
The uproar over Security Issues:
Android devices have been questioned for security in many European nations. This forced Google to provide a “search choice” screen option for Android users upon installation on a new device. This option lets users switch to an alternative to Google, thereby increasing the market share of its competitors.
While the iPhone lets the users switch between Google, Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo, most users are less likely to choose the competitors of Google. In 2017, Google become the default search engine for iPhone by replacing Bing. And Google pays billions for that to Apple.
Today, Bing and Yahoo make up for less than 5% of mobile searches. But Google’s market share and security issues in Europe and the US can affect its position on Safari as a default browser.
Apple-Google’s Billion Dollars Deal—Is That a Trigger?
Apple’s speculated move to start its search engine is indirectly associated with its billion dollars deal with Google.
Google is said to pay billions of dollars to Apple to become the default search engine on Safari for iOS devices. It simply means that Apple device users search with Google whenever they use Safari until they switch to Yahoo or Bing.
This billion-dollar deal might be over soon. Besides, the deal has raised the eyebrow of the UK government as it seemed to be manipulative.
“Given the impact of pre installations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple’s significant market share, it is our view that Apple’s existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles.,”
It is also worth to mention that Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo also pay money to Apple to become their inbuilt browsers. But the preference is only given to Google Search.
Later, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, was found defending his deal in an interview on Axios on HBO.
“I think their [Google’s] search engine is the best. Look at what we’ve done with the controls we’ve built in. We have private web browsing. We have intelligent tracker prevention. What we’ve tried to do is come up with ways to help our users through their course of the day. It’s not a perfect thing. I’d be the very first person to say that. But it goes a long way to helping.”
The deal is not only controversial but also moving towards its end. At this point, Apple is reportedly encouraged to launch its search engine.
TRIGGER NO. 2: THE HATRED OF STEVE JOBS TOWARDS GOOGLE
Although Google is reportedly paying money to Apple, all is not well between these two tech giants.
And it all started from Steve Jobs who didn’t hold positive views for Google.
According to Walter Isaacson, the biographer of Steve Jobs, the hate was quite real as Steve used to think that Android was originally the idea of Apple and stolen by Google.
In his autobiography, he quoted Steve saying—
“…I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
However, Steve Jobs didn’t favor starting Apple search engine as he has reportedly said in 2010—
“We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them. This “don’t be evil” mantra is bullshit.”
Steve Jobs was the mentor of Google’s founders, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. But he blamed them for backstabbing Apple.
According to Steven Levy’s book titled In the Plex, Jobs felt that “he had been betrayed by the two young men he had been attempting to mentor.”
Larry Page with Steve Jobs in 2007.
And this vendetta against Google is still alive and existed in the form of patent suits.
Although Apple has launched legal battles with Samsung, HTC, and Motorola, Google has always been a prime target.
Larry Page’s Diplomatic Take on Google-Apple’s Relations
However, Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, has something different to say.
In an interview with the Fortune, he said on his relationships with Jobs—
“I don’t like to rally my company in that way because I think that if you’re looking at somebody else, you’re looking at what they do now, and that’s not how again you stay two or three steps ahead.”
He was even reportedly saying that Steve’s grudge against Google was just for show.
“We have a big search relationship with Apple and so on, and we talk to them, and so on.”
The “bitter” rivalry with Google can be one of the driving factors behind Apple search.
Should Apple Really Need a Search Engine?
Apple is one of the most valuable tech companies in the world. It is loved by people around the world for its innovation and security.
Apple is looking to expand its offerings with a search engine for many reasons. It might have been eyeing on the benefits listed below.
- Promotion of the apps in the search results.
- Weakening Google’s monopoly over the search paid ad and data mining.
- Promoting of less popular services like Apple News and Apple TV.
- Providing personalized search results based on email, messages, events, maps, reminders, notes, files, photos, contact, TV shows, and movies.
- Letting developers promote their apps over its ad serving platform.
How Google Search vs. Apple Search Will Define the Digital Landscape
Google has almost become a synonym for search.
But that shouldn’t discourage Apple that has to start everything from scratch to build its search engine. Apple has technology, reputation, and strong recall value to make its search engine success.
The tug of war between both tech giants will create a ripple effect across the digital world.
- It will prompt webmasters to design their SEO for the Apple search engine. This is because Apple has the ability to become the second most used search engine if beating Google seems unrealistic for some years. Plus, Safari is the most popular web browser in the USA.
SEO can be built around the search queries found in Spotlight Searches that would have otherwise based on Google.
- It can be a huge setback for alternative search engines like DuckDuckGo as they are ad-free to ensure more privacy to their users. But Apple has been leveraging on marketing privacy.
What Experts Think of Apple’s Venture into Search Engine?
“We’d suggest Apple consider acquiring their search engine, to potentially capture the lucrative advertising stream for themselves or serve as a ‘stalking horse’ to pressure Google”
- Toni Sacconaghi, Wall Street Analyst at Bernstein (source)
“For Apple to ensure that searching the web—maybe the most important and common part of the computing experience—meets its own privacy values, it would need to build its own search engine to have full control over how data is and isn’t collected, and how the web is crawled and indexed.
“Creating a search engine may land Apple in various legal troubles like the right to forget lawsuit faced by Google in Europe. Apple is the only US company which is successful in China, the moment they step into the search engine business they will go through a lot of serious compliance issues in China due to the strict government surveillance by Chinese government.
- Ramasubramanian, Android and iOS Developer.
No wonder if we see a search engine with an Apple silver logo over it with the search bar. After all, the company is known for its innovative approach and rebellion attitude.
It can challenge the monopoly of Google Search just like it did to IBM in 1984 with the launch of Mac.
But that wouldn’t be a cakewalk for them due to Google’s 90% market share in the search world. Besides, Apple would have the bitter failure of Maps in mind.
What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!