In recent years, Google has become a synonym for the search engine. Google is so built inside the people’s mind that they just say I will Google it instead of I will search it.
Google has become the default search engine in the majority of the devices and browsers. This position can be partly due to the competitors’ inability to gain traction because of Google’s dominance in this market.
However, it looks like Apple is planning to end Google’s dominance by planning to launch its search engine as per the job listing posted in the job portals.
Well, why does Apple want to enter into a new foray, which is new to them?
We all know that Google pays billions of dollars to Apple to keep Google as the default search engine in its Safari browser across all the Apple products. This means when a user performs a search on the safari browser search results will come from google search. Although users can change, default search engine majority of the users tend to leave Google as the default search engine.
This is not the first time Apple is taking on Google. We have seen this before when Apple launched Apple maps as default maps in its products.
Apple by making its search engine can avoid the regulatory pressures around default search engines against android in Europe and they can have better control over the user experience and highlight contents and apps on in its mobile devices.
So how does it affect its competitors?
Apple has a 44% market share of US smartphones and around 12% share of Pcs Also most importantly Apple users outpunch their weight when it comes to how much they use Google and click on search ads. Out of all the Google search ad clicks around 49% comes from iOS and Mac devices.
This is not the end. The share may continue to rise as the mobile user base grows and desktop searches decline in importance. Alphabet (Google) notes in each of its quarterly earnings reports and conference calls with analysts that the biggest contributor to its revenue is mobile search.
As per reports, US spending on phone google search ads is up by 33% YOY in the 3rd quarter LY vs 11% on desktops.
Apple users represent historically value than android users. Spending in the app store was nearly the same as Google play spending worldwide in the first half of 2018. Despite android’s massive install base compared to iOS, Apple’s premium products attract consumers to spend more.
So not only do Apple users produce about half of Google’s ad clicks in the U.S., those clicks are more valuable to advertisers than clicks on less-expensive Android devices. That means advertisers are willing to pay more per click.
If this search engine is launched, I am sure that the Apple search will be number two in the market overtaking Bing, Yahoo, and Duck duck go.
Apple’s Spotlight search currently which can be accessed from the top of the iPhone homepage is not as visible or widely used for web search compared with browsers or dedicated search apps (eg. Google). However, there is a potentially more integrated experience where Siri results, spotlight search and the safari browser default search becomes more unifies on the back end.
Search engines such as DuckDuckGo or the new upcoming subscription-based Neeva would suffer at the hands of Apple search experience. As most of the alternative search engines are mostly selling themselves these days based on being more Privacy-friendly or in the case of Neeva it’s also ad-free.
Apple is also marketing its products as a privacy-focused to differentiate itself from others and if we go by this, it’s unlikely we would see ads in its search results. But we should also keep this in mind the Apple is a public company and its also looking for new revenue growth opportunities so it could be tempted to deliver the ad revenues.
Why apple search engine matters for the industry?
As said at the beginning of the article the search engine segment is dominated by Google. There is a need for a strong contender for Google, and I guess Google would also welcome such a move for many reasons. This would in turn help us more improvements in search.
However, we have to see how well Apple would build its search engine to take on Google. Apple has all the resources to make a run at Google but the question is, will it fully commit or build a mediocre experience that does not sway anyone. We have seen it before the company underestimated the challenge of building a map alternative to Google and learned many painful lessons in that process.
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.