Videos by OutKick
Apple has ramped up efforts to develop its own search engine, the Financial Times reports.
Currently, Google, LLC pays Apple between $8 billion and $12 billion a year to set Google as the iPhone’s default search engine. The U.S. Department of Justice has threatened the partnership’s future with an antitrust case against Google. The DOJ alleges that Google has “unlawfully maintained monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets.”
If the partnership is eventually blocked, Apple is then incentivized to compete with Google.
Rumors have swirled for years that Apple wants to join the search engine wars. In 2018, Apple hired John Giannandrea, the former head of Google’s search division. Apple also frequently posts job adverts for search engineers.
iOS 14 dropped the latest hint yet. The newest iPhone software directs home screen search queries to Apple search results instead of Google’s.
Worldwide, Google owns around 88% of the search engine market share. According to Statista, its competitors aren’t close:
- Google, 88%
- Bing, 4.61%
- Yahoo, 4.01%
Google is a habit. If we don’t know the answer to a question, we are told to “Google it.” That won’t change, but an Apple alternative would quickly eat away at Google’s dominance.
Users of all platforms tend to stick with defaults, which is why Google pays Apple so much yearly. Over 728 million people use iPhones. If an Apple-created search engine comes installed in future iPhones and iOS updates, few users will manually make the switch back to Google. Most non-tech savvy iPhone users won’t even notice the change.
With so much internet traffic dictated by Google search rankings, a new search engine run by Apple could affect Google’s market share almost immediately. Such competition would be a big win for users. No tech company should dominate at that level, especially considering the way that Big Tech has operated the past four years.
I like “iSearch” for the name.