Friday, December 9, 2022

The rumors of the Apple search engine return: Google trembles, but Apple itself too

Google is the absolute dominator of Internet search engines. Despite the alternatives and regulations to try to dent its position, it continues to command 90% of the market share. Something that makes practically no new rival want to enter… Or maybe Apple does?

Although it has been something discussed for years, a new report from The Information now indicates that indeed Apple is working on italthough he still has time to have a mature project.

The idea of ​​a search engine makes business sense. Apple is seeing its advertising business grow in spades. Third-party application tracking restrictions on the users of their devices, which caused Facebook/Meta and Google to see a significant hole in their accounts, have made the Cupertino firm, while defending its position as a champion of privacy, increase your ad business.

The placements where your ads are shown in the App Store have continued to increase, and so has your profitability. For this reason, the idea of ​​a search engine, which would of course show adsas it is its main route of monetization, would close the circle of Apple as an advertising company.

However, Apple itself must put these efforts into perspective given that it currently receives a very large sum of money from Google to keep its browser by default in Safari. For years there has been talk of between 10,000 and 15,000 million dollars, a sum that is equivalent to between 3 and 4% of the income of the apple company. To get an idea, it’s also a sum similar to what Netflix has been spending on producing its original content in recent years.

Why would Apple give up that ‘easy’ money? Does it make sense for a web browser to focus as it does in closed ecosystems? Or, on the other hand, why does Google accept it despite its position as a defender of privacy? Can Google fear a competitor beyond Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo?

More and more evidence that Apple is working on its search engine

Apple acquired an AI news startup called Laserlike in 2018, which was founded by a group of engineers from Google. That was his first step into the seeker. However, its founders have just returned to Google, according to new information.

Laserlike co-founder Srinivasan Venkatachary had assumed the role of senior director of Apple’s search team, helping manage at least 200 employees. This team is responsible for developing features such as Spotlight and Siri Suggestions, as well as responses from the Siri voice assistant itself.

During his tenure at Apple, Venkatachary reported to Apple’s vice president of machine learning and artificial intelligence, John Giannandrea, who is also a former Google executive. Venkatachary also expanded the staff of the search team at Applefocusing on recruiting various Google Search employees.

From alliance to competition?

However, as we said, Apple and Google are competitors and partners in the search industry at the same time. Fitting the pieces there is important, and the new information indicates that there are “at least four years” left for Apple to do so.

Meanwhile, Apple would focus on expanding technology developed by Venkachatary’s former team to “power search in Apple Music and the App Store.” It could also use the technology to “generate data for Apple teams that develop applications that use natural language processing, such as translation applications,” the report states.

What also seems clear is that only a company like Apple can compete with Google one on one.

Google’s monopoly on search engines has so far been lavishwith only a few small crumbs left to competitors such as Bing or DuckDuckGo, a search engine that has made privacy its added value and which has also been speculated to be bought by Apple. In this context, options like Newa, founded by former Google, now offer proposals as subscription search engines to limit tracking and advertising.

SeekerAll over the worldUSAEuropeSpain
Google92.07%88.24%93.82%96.58%
Bing2.44%6.45%2.44%2.07%
Yahoo!1.62%3.61%0.86%0.8%
Baidu1.49%0.03%No dataNo data
Yandex0.54%0.04%1.71%0.03%
Sogou0.43%No dataNo dataNo data
DuckDuckGO0.5%1.33%0.38%0.25%
Ecosia0.13%0.12%0.33%0.22%
Qwant0.02%No data0.08%No data
msn0.02%0.06%0.02%0.01%
Font: stat counter

Does a proposal from Apple have a place there? It may be a matter of time to verify it, what we already know is that Apple is working on it, that there is still time, but that it would fit perfectly with its growing source of income from ads. Although perhaps not so much with its pro-privacy banner.

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