Apple reportedly positioned to enter search engine market should deal with Google go sour

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,638   +615
Staff member
Rumor mill: As antitrust regulators probe the multibillion-dollar deal between Google and Apple to make its search engine the default on iPhones, Cupertino seems poised to enter the internet-query market. The rumor stems from Apple's inclusion of its own internet search results in iOS 14 Spotlight queries rather than another search engine's.

The Financial Times reports that with the iOS 14, iPhones now show direct links to websites when users enter queries from the home screen (Spotlight).

"That web search capability marks an important advance in Apple's in-house development and could form the foundation of a fuller attack on Google, according to several people in the industry," FT notes.

The change is subtle and has gone mostly unnoticed. The iPhone's Spotlight search is typically used when you want to find something locally like a buried app, note, or text conversation. So most users would not think to try using it for searching the internet. As a search engine, it performed poorly in our tests, but does work for some search terms (above).

The inclusion of internet queries in Spotlight has not affected Google's deal with Apple. The search giant still pays between $8 billion and $12 billion per year to Cupertino to keep it as the default search. This "rental fee" is up from $3 billion in 2017. However, industry experts say Apple could be positioning itself to bring its search algorithms more mainstream if regulators come between the deal.

At this point, this s nothing more than conjecture by industry professionals, so take it with a grain or two of salt. Apple has not indicated any intention of entering the search engine business, but it typically holds its cards close to the vest, so it's not out of the question.

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Endymio

Posts: 1,055   +889
Apple having its own search engine on its own devices = vertical integration, which should hold up well in court against any antitrust challenges (that is, in fact, why the recent challenge against AT&T/TW failed.)
 
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Uncle Al

Posts: 7,592   +6,109
Sounds like Apple knows how to read the writing on the wall and would rather pursue calmer opportunities ...
 

franticfrosty

Posts: 79   +84
Apple having its own search engine on its own devices = vertical integration, which should hold up well in court against any antitrust challenges (that is, in fact, why the recent challenge against AT&T/TW failed.)
Going from recent lawsuits, apple could be sued for advertising their own products on their search engine, or putting them first
 

pelopidas

Posts: 7   +21
I wouldn’t mind uncensored and un-manipulated results again. How about an engine show me what I want to see instead of what they want to show. Any search engine that can provide halfway descent results that are not manipulates and skewed will put a serious dent in Google.
 
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Endymio

Posts: 1,055   +889
I wouldn’t mind uncensored and un-manipulated results again. How about an engine show me what I want to see instead of what they want to show. Any search engine that can provide halfway descent results that are not manipulates and skewed will put a serious dent in Google.
Yeah, I was hoping Bing would fill that void, but they're only marginally better than Google in that respect.
 

vpix360

Posts: 8   +1
Going from recent lawsuits, apple could be sued for advertising their own products on their search engine, or putting them first
. I doubt that Apple would get a lawsuit. Let's Review: Google has a search engine. Google has a browser. Google has GooglePlay and they have apps. Compared to Apple, they have everything Google has except... (the search engine).