Bloomberg has revealed that Apple has been working on powerful search technology for its apps to essentially improve its software, hone its search skills… and use it as a bargaining chip with Google.
Google has to pay Apple a handsome figure to keep its search engine as the default on Apple products, now that Apple has its own search technology as leverage, it can squeeze greater sums of money out of Google.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is already using its new search technology (codenamed Pegasus) in some of its apps but very soon it will also be arriving on the App Store. One area Apple already couples its search technology with Google Search is in Spotlight where it has previously added the ability to point users to sites that could answer their questions.
While Apple has not launched its own search engine, it has still been very interested in the field. At the end of September, it was reported that Microsoft entered exploratory talks with Apple in 2020 to sell off its Bing search engine to the iPhone maker.
Ultimately, Apple never bought Bing but it has still continued to work on its search abilities for its own software. By maintaining the ability to launch a good search engine, Apple can use it as leverage against Google to make the search firm pay up more money to keep its engine as the default on Apple’s operating systems.
While not the case everywhere, in more affluent countries, iOS makes up a large portion of mobile market share; it’s more popular than Android in some places. As a result, it’s likely Google would pay more money to Apple to remain the default search engine as not doing so could have a significant impact on its traffic.
While it’s still unlikely that Apple will launch a search engine, we cannot forget about Apple Maps. Apple decided to launch this despite the dominant position of Google Maps and could ultimately do the same with a search engine if it wanted to.