Apple Could Replace Google with Its Own Search Engine, But It’s Unlikely
Apple is reportedly gearing up to introduce an in-house search engine for its App Store and other services. In theory, Apple has the capability to create a search engine that could potentially replace Google as the default option on its devices, according to Mark Gurman of Bloomberg‘s Power On newsletter.
One significant indicator of Apple’s efforts in the search domain is its Spotlight service, which helps users find files across all their devices. In recent versions of iOS and macOS, Apple began incorporating web search results into Spotlight, redirecting users to websites that could answer their queries. These results were powered by either Microsoft’s Bing or Google from Alphabet at different times. Siri also leverages this technology to provide internet search results.
According to Gurman, a team of developers led by former Google executive John Giannandrea is working at Apple to deepen the integration of an in-house search engine named Pegasus into iOS and macOS. This search engine may potentially incorporate generative artificial intelligence to enhance its capabilities. In the past year, Apple launched Business Connect, a direct competitor to Google Maps, allowing businesses to add details about their hours and locations to Apple Maps for free.
While Gurman notes that Spotlight and Apple’s app search engine may not be as powerful as Google, these tools enable Apple to display advertisements not only in the App Store but also in other apps like News and Weather. This provides Apple with enough potential to launch its search engine. In essence, Apple has all the pieces to replace Google on its devices.
If Apple successfully rolls out its search engine, it could potentially generate revenue comparable to that of Apple Watch, assuming it can sell advertising and search placements at the same rate as Google. Currently, Apple earns a significant portion of its income from Google’s search advertising, which has been delivering around $8 billion annually in recent years. The likelihood of this happening is low, but even if Apple doesn’t surpass Google, it could still generate more revenue through its own search. Apple could improve its non-web search capabilities, which could be a significant bargaining chip in negotiations with Google over revenue sharing.
Whether Apple will take this step remains uncertain. Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software and Services, previously stated that Apple doesn’t need to create its own search engine because Google is excellent. There were also reports that Apple rejected an offer to purchase Bing in 2020.
- I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.
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