The Existence of an Apple Search Engine
A look into how Apple got here…
A recent news story some days ago got my attention of reports that Apple is working to create an alternative search engine to Google, the king of all search engines.
The intention makes absolute sense in two ways when you can understand why.
Privacy is a big deal and is becoming an even bigger deal as we move further and further ahead in our time (or that is to say into our future). Who knew that data would be such a colossal commodity! Think of Facebook and Google.
Apple, branding itself as the undisputed king of privacy and a data security leader, and you need not look any further than Apple’s privacy statement page on their website.
“Privacy is a fundamental human right”
…a statement we’ve witnessed Tim Cook time and time again repeat across many Apple conferences.
The alarming issue, however, has to do with a hole. A hole as you soon will find out is being addressed and is looking to be soon filled.
A type of discrepancy if you will…
Apple’s hole feels much like a turning of a “blind eye” or a “we hope you overlook this” as it has to do with two big things that should go hand in hand; privacy (your data) and Safari (gateway to the internet).
If Apple can emphasis their strong views on privacy, then the moment anyone boots up Safari on an iPhone, you’re with Google as the default search engine.
The very Google who knows everything about me and you. The Google that tracks our every move, knowing all our search queries, track, track, TRACK.
For some people (if not most), could easily argue that they were sold on this privacy commercial from Apple, only to be stumped over this discrepancy.
Today, as Google finds itself in the most significant antitrust lawsuit of the past two decades with the U.S. Department of Justice, Apple has unbelievably kept itself at distant.
As we’ve come to learn, Apple has a lot to lose if the case against Google falls apart given their indirect involvement in the scrutiny concerns.
Spoiler alert; Google pays Apple billions of dollars to be and maintain their position as THEE default search on its devices, particularly with the iPhones.
Google does a tremendous amount of business on their search engine, hauling in a lot of customers, selling a lot of advertising, things that make Google money. With iOS having a massive user base (1 billion active iPhone users at the time of writing this), Google says “we want to be that default search app on the phone, we’ll pay you [Apple], and we hope to make that money back at some point from all our products and services, ads and all the rest of it.”
Though the lawsuit has put Google under the spotlight, it has posed some serious questions for Apple too. The same company whose been showcasing its values and commitment towards privacy has fostered a huge platform for Google to collect and harvest user data.
Because of Google’s approximate $10 billion dollars annual deal with Apple, it’s become the heart of the lawsuit. This deal is the prime reason why Google is occupying more than 90 per cent of the internet search market today.
If Google ends up losing the case, it will have repercussions for Apple as well. Revenue from Google makes up a significant part of Apple’s annual income.
The Alternative — A privacy focussed experience.
Apple has an opportunity to redeem itself and show the world that their true love for privacy isn’t hypocrisy.
Releasing a privacy-focused search engine either self-made or by acquiring DuckDuckGo (which has pros and cons) might be two possible avenues that Apple could contemplate.
Apple’s search engine might not be the most profitable undertaking for Apple, but it could certainly open the door for other advantages.
A search engine deeply integrated into the Apple ecosystem could help promote Apple services like News+ alongside advancing Siri’s suggestions and Spotlight.
I believe regardless of the outcome, Apple should have its own search engine, in much of the same way we how we have Apple Maps today. Having an Apple search engine that aligns with Apple’s cores and values will have that added layer of security we need (where some may depend on) as we continue to learn what it means to have our data as a valued commodity.