With WWDC just days away, the rumor mill is turning, and an interesting rumor is that Apple is developing its own search engine. Google is now so synonymous with search that it is often used as a verb. Most people would say, “just Google”, rather than “search the internet”, and that’s not always good for the market.
Once upon a time, there were a lot of options when it came to search engines. Yahoo, Alta Vista, Teoma, and who could forget Ask Jeeves (now ask.com)? But since its launch in 1998, Google hasn’t stopped growing, mainly because it was the best.
There are of course still many other search options, like Bing, DuckDuckGo and Yahoo, but the idea of an Apple search engine is interesting. According to our sister site, technical radar (opens in a new tab)blogger Robert Scoble included a search engine in a list of announcements he expects from Apple this year, based on conversations with sources and some inferences.
Apple (like Google) has been focused on protecting user privacy, so pointing its Safari browser to a third-party search engine like Google has long been a sticking point.
I’m sure it’s not all altruistic. Google, after all, generates billions in ad revenue, so an Apple search engine could easily be profitable – if done right. Any search engine should be able to instantly deliver the results people are looking for and this is best achieved by knowing something about the person searching, but any new browser should stand up to the scrutiny of data usage, which which makes this task more difficult.
If it does happen, Safari users will still have the choice of using it, but I imagine many will. If you have already joined the Apple ecosystem, this makes sense. Could he ever reach the heights of Google? I would never say never with Apple.