For several years, it’s been reported that Google pays billions of dollars to Apple to remain the default search engine on Safari for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. The deal ensures that iPhone, iPad, and Mac users search with Google when they use Safari.
Why Apple might be launching a search engine:
- Apple doesn’t need Google’s money
- Apple is pouring resources and money into search
- iOS and iPadOS 14 beta bypasses Google Search with Spotlight Search
- Apple recently updated its Applebot web crawler page
- Applebot has been busy crawling sites
Apple has a lot to gain from this model. Some of the main benefits include:
- The promotion of apps in search results that will benefit Apple’s services and detract from Google’s push towards PWAs.
- A weakening of Google’s monopoly on search and a significant blow to its ad revenue and data mining.
- The promotion of Apple products and services. Including struggling services like Apple News+ and Apple TV+.
- Continued control and lock down of the Apple ecosystem. Users will become dependent on personalized search results with deep service and product integrations that are only possible via their search engine.
- The extension of their ad serving platform will allow app developers to promote their apps in search results.
At this point, everything is based on observation and conjecture. They may never release a search engine. It’s also possible that iOS, iPadOS, and macOS users will be using it and not even be aware of it. It could be so tightly integrated into the operating system and native apps that alerts and Spotlight Searches slowly steal away queries that would have otherwise been made on Google.