Reports have come out that Apple is working on its own search engine. According to the Financial Times, Apple has begun to show its own search results and link directly to websites when users type queries from its home screen. This was noticed on the latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 14.
“That web search capability marks an important advance in Apple’s in-house development and could form the foundation of a fuller attack on Google, according to several people in the industry,” says the report from Financial Times.
This move would be a big hit to Google which pays Apple between $10b and $12b a year to be the main search provider on Apple devices. However, the deal is bound to expire soon and a reported antitrust case against Google by the US Department of Justice could prevent its extension.
The only issue Apple will have after becoming a search giant would be its commitment to privacy. Apple CEO Tim Cook once said in an open letter, “Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.”
Other than development, the main step that Apple will have to take is to try and earn regulatory approval from the U.S. government. But it will definitely be interesting to see how Apple’s own search engine turns out once it’s all fully developed.