Apple is known for expanding its reach to a lot of technological markets. From iOS to iPhones, Apple Silicon to Apple TV, and iMacs to Macbooks, it is not afraid to brand any market sector it gets involved with. Now, the $2 trillion company may have its sights on another commonly used service.
TechPowerUp (via Coy Wolf) has reported that Apple could be developing its own search engine. Some of the potential reasons behind this are rather interesting. John Henshaw, of Coy Wolf, explains the seemingly less obvious details about this venture. For some time, Google has been paying billions of dollars to Apple to be the default search engine in Safari. As most know, Safari is the web browser installed on all current Apple devices. This particular business deal has caught the attention of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. Such attention for Google, amid other ongoing legal challenges with the European Union, would likely add fuel to the fire.
This is far from being the only reason Apple would have an interest in going it on its own with a search engine. It already has an established history in self integrating as many services or technologies as it can. Often, this is done in the name of increased privacy for its users. From iCloud to Siri, to its growing ventures in streaming with Apple TV, it becomes obvious how a self-owned search engine would be a logical next step. Nearly all user data would reside solely with Apple. Just imagine the ramifications that could have on Google’s advertisers.
Applebot and iOS Are Implementing Changes
Mr. Henshaw also explains that he’s seen other indicators something is in the works. He notes how iOS and iPadOS 14 beta are already switching over to Spotlight Search instead of using Google. As recently as last month, the web-crawling Applebot received new updates, one of which includes rendering pages in a similar fashion to Google. It doesn’t stop there, as he shared an image showing how Applebot has been busy crawling on his server as well. This could be a good indicator of how it is gathering data for the potential search engine.
Apple May Not Need Google Anymore
No official word has come from Apple regarding any of this. However, it does have an established history of trying to migrate away from dependencies with other large business partners. We have seen such partnerships with AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and Samsung all change or end as Apple transitioned to more internalized solutions. With a $2 trillion market share, it also becomes obvious it is not hurting for income either. If you combine all these factors, it would seem it simply may not need Google anymore.