Rumour has it that Apple is working on launching its search engine to take on Google. A report by Coywolf indicates that the Cupertino-based tech giant has put up job openings for search engineers and the listings stress on integrating artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP).
Google reportedly pays billions of dollars every year to Apple to maintain itself as the default search engine for iOS, macOS, and iPadOS. According to Forbes, a whopping $7 billion goes to iOS alone.
Does this seem pricey? It won’t when you will realize that a big part of Google’s search success relies on this arrangement with Apple – getting about $25 billion in ad revenue from searches on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
It looks like the deal will be coming to an end as recent evidence throws light on Apple working on a search engine.
- Insights by Coywolf’s Jon Henshaw, indicating that Apple has been listing out job openings for search engineers.
- The fact that Apple introduced a new Spotlight Search feature to iOS and iPadOS 14 that enables users to search and go directly to a site, completely bypassing Google’s search result page.
- A significant update to the Apple web crawler with new information on how it ranks results.
- A recent report by MacRumors indicating that Applebot has recently been more involved than ever before. Jon Henshaw, Coywolf’s founder, is one of the developers who has been noticing Applebot a lot in his website logs.
This is what Henshaw says:
But why would Apple build its own search engine?
The main reason why an Apple search engine could be in development can be the same as to why it launched a mapping application back in 2012 – to have better control over the user experience on its devices.
Going by the job description provided by Coywolf’s blog, the tech-giant could put AI and ML to best use and make user-experience to the next level of personalization.
If Apple does launch its own search engine then the search results could be based on the Apple user’s contacts, documents, emails, events, files, messages, maps, music, notes, news, photos, reminders, TV shows, movies, third-party apps – basically everything that an Apple user interacts with.
It is also suspected that Apple’s new search engine could challenge Google’s monopoly on search and impact its ad revenue and data mining.
If true, Apple’s search engine will be a highly-personalized data hub that will be very similar to Google Assistant on Android. It will have significantly deeper integrations with OS, no ads, and will be completely privacy-focused.
What could be the impact?
The effects of Apple launching a search engine can be drastic as the company reaps the benefits of having the most searches performed on smartphones. Apple will also be able to advertise its product and services over the platform. But most importantly, Google’s power on the search will be somewhat reduced.
Search Engine Land surmised that there is a chance that Apple could become the second most popular search engine, behind Google as Safari is the number one mobile browser in the US currently.
In an industry where Google holds the monopoly, the potential of a search engine by Apple still remains unclear. The company did build a successful alternative to Google with Maps but will it be able to replicate the same global effect with its search engine?
We’re quite excited to see what Apple has in store for us. What do you think about this move? Do you think Apple can tarnish Google’s global dominance? Comment down your thoughts!
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