Analysts Believe the Time Is Ripe for Apple to Release a Search Engine

By Bill Toulas / September 3, 2021

Analysts in the tech industry believe that the time when Apple should kick out Google Search from its platform has come, and no matter how difficult the endeavor may sound or actually be, the benefits from it could be of a much greater magnitude. In 2020, Google paid Apple $12 billion to have its search engine appear as the default choice on all Apple devices. In 2021, this was raised to $15 billion, and rumors claim that the amount will be taken to $20 billion in 2022.

The simple reason why Google accepts to pay so much money for people to use its “free” search engine is to make a lot more money by profiling them, tracking them, and eventually serving targeted advertisements to them. Google wants to monopolize the market, and they are achieving this goal by spending ludicrous amounts of money on it. Expert analysts in the industry place Google’s annual ad revenue generation from these deals to around $50 billion, so it’s a massive investment that makes perfect business sense.

Obviously, if Apple could offer its own search engine instead, they could be making multiple times the amount that Google pays them. Moreover, although Apple faces scrutiny from regulators over anti-trust and market abuse practices in general, launching a search engine to antagonize the only big player in the market should guarantee them relative serenity on that front. But can Apple really do that?

We touched on this subject again back in October 2020, when some saw signs of Apple tentatively (and secretively) preparing its own web search engine. Maybe that was just an experiment, or Apple wanted to achieve something else like forming a better negotiating position, or the project is still ongoing and under active development. The truth is, Apple has the financial and technical resources to move such an aspiring plan forward.

For sure, it wouldn’t be as rich and powerful as Google Search, but that wouldn’t matter a lot for most iOS users anyway. Apple could promote such an engine as more private and part of its “safe ecosystem,” with curated results and other high-quality features.

The question of whether Apple is planning to launch a search service cannot be answered right now. Still, some recent news added heat to the kiln that has been burning ever since Cupertino snatched John Giannandrea, one of Google Search's previous leading engineers. Reportedly, Apple also tried to convince Ben Gomes, Google’s deputy search chief, to join the company. This revelation underlines Apple’s interest in the particular product, but for now, it’s all we’ve got.

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