As we suggested in a recent post, which echoed many rumors in the tech world, it appears that Apple is in fact taking steps to create its own search engine as an alternative to Google. With the DoJ's recent antitrust case threatening the multi-billion dollar agreement that makes Google the default search engine on iOS products, Apple is looking to take online search into its own hands. Prior to the antitrust case, there were reports of Apple posting numerous job openings for search engine related roles. Add that to Apple's hiring of Google's former head of search, John Giannandrea, over two and half years ago and it appears Apple is trying to distance itself from solely depending on its current agreement with Google. It is reported that Google pays $8 billion - $12 billion to Apple each year as part of their current agreement, which has kept Google as the default search engine on Apple products for over a decade. With these payments being at the center of the DoJ's antitrust case, "Apple has a growing incentive to change that, as regulators force it to choose between defending its relationship with Google or turning against its longstanding partner in search," reports the Financial Times.
If Apple were to produce a competitive search engine, it would have an immediate presence on 45% of smart phones in the US.
While experts suggest that Apple's attempt to create a search engine that can compete with Google is an extremely daunting task, their former Google search engine personnel and product line position its attempt in much better standing that other search engines like Bing and Duck Duck Go. With iPhones making up 45% of smart phones in the US, Apple would have an immediate and significant user base for its search engine if and when it were to roll out. The real question is how would this evolve into the world of paid advertising. Outside of Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, social media and other search engines have failed to capture the advertising targeting and revenue opportunities to compete with Google. Snap, Twitter, and Pinterest, for example, have ad platforms similar to Google and Facebook, but their capabilities and performance have failed to make waves in multifamily digital marketing strategies. With former Google search engine employees at the helm, Apple has a unique opportunity to create a competitive product that can replicate the Google's search environment, but also add a new platform to diversify multifamily digital marketing strategies. In a digital world that seemed to be more and more limited for digital creativity, there could be promise and new opportunities for many right around the corner.