In recent years, we have been hearing about the development of Apple’s own search engine. Based on the latest reports, it is suggested that Apple is ramping up its effort to make its search engine a reality. As of now, they are still using the Google search engine as the default search feature for its iOS devices. Due to certain changes, it is becoming less likely that Apple will continue using Google’s search engine.
New Development Reports
Based on the latest reports, it is apparent that Apple is getting more serious in the development of its search engine. A strong uptick of Applebot activities has been detected recently. Applebot or Apple’s proprietary web crawler is aggregating a massive amount of data from various online sources. We’ve also seen how Apple changed the way it manages searches on the iPhone, starting from iOS 14. Web searches on iOS 14 devices start to get data from Apple’s own system, instead of from the Google search engine. Although Apple’s search engine is barely complete, it is interesting that users are already able to use it. When it comes to iPhone devices, it appears that the full deployment of the Apple search engine may happen one day.
Google’s Anti-Trust Problem
At the moment, Google is paying $8 – $12 billion each year to Apple for making its search engine the default search feature on iOS devices. In 2018, Apple received nearly $10 billion from Google, which represented 20 percent of its service income of the year. Antitrust regulators are disputing this issue because it’s an anti-competitive practice. If Google is banned from renewing its deal with Apple, there could be a huge change on iOS devices. Although Apple may decide to continue using Google’s search engine without being paid, it is more likely that the company will develop its own solution. By having its own web search capability, Apple will have a more independent solution and the company can better control iOS devices, depending on its internal policies. Apple continues investing in its AI capabilities and the new search engine may integrate with Siri virtual assistant to provide a more comprehensive experience for users. They have an internal team that’s capable of developing a proprietary search engine algorithm. However, Apple’s strong stance on privacy can be a big argument against the full implementation of its search engine.
What Will Apple Do?
If Google stops paying for its search engine implementation, then Apple will use its enormous cash reserve to focus more on a proprietary web engine. This technology can become one of Apple’s strategic components for an improved mobile experience. Another question to ask is whether Apple will compete with Google in the search engine industry. We still don’t know whether Apple will launch a web-based search engine that works as a cross-platform solution. An effective solution will acquire search start-ups with complementary technologies that can accelerate the completion of Apple’s search engine.
How Apple Search Engine Works?
Apple has released the Applebot documentation and it discusses the ranking algorithm. We have a fairly clear idea about the basic operations of the search engine. It focuses on aggregated user engagement that’s based on the search results. Search terms will be matched with webpage content and topics. The quality and number of links from other webpages will determine search ranking. The user location determines what webpages are displayed.
If Apple wants to win the heart of current Google search engine users, they need to ensure a good level of transparency. If Apple can gain trust with its engine, implementing advertising services and monetization will be more likely. However, unlike Google, Apple’s current business model isn’t based on advertising. The company already has an immense consumer base around the world and this gives an edge when competing against Google. By gradually presenting paid ads to users, Apple will likely generate a substantial amount of advertising revenue, especially if it’s integrated into iOS and MacOS devices. We can only wait whether Apple will be forced to terminate its lucrative agreement with Google and the company will be motivated to replace the lost revenue by launching its own advertising solution.