Could Apple be ready to challenge Google on its home turf? It’s a very real possibility, according to blogger Robert Scoble, who says Apple is preparing to launch its own search engine.
It was the last point of a long Twitter feed (opens in a new tab) on what to expect from Apple at WWDC and beyond. Although it’s in the “beyond” section, so don’t expect an imminent announcement.
Oh, and a new search engine is coming too. Will Siri finally get “smart?” Hmmm.May 28, 2022
Oddly enough, when queried by our sister site Tech Radar (opens in a new tab)Scoble said it would be “the most expensive product launch ever,” so it would be a pretty serious undertaking considering Apple’s general launch spend. He told the site it would likely come out in January and his information was a mix of conversations with sources and his own inference.
What is not entirely clear is the scope of this project. When we think of search engines, we instinctively think of Google, Bing, and maybe DuckDuckGo, but search is built into macOS and iOS for finding files, and that’s also where Siri gets its information, so that might there be something behind the scenes?
Scoble was asked this question directly on Twitter, and while he said he wasn’t sure, he did indicate that it would be a great thing for Siri in particular:
I do not know. Where does Siri work today? This is what I expect to change.May 28, 2022
Elsewhere he developed this. “We had dinner six years ago with the head of Siri at Apple and he talked about why Siri should be rebuilt,” he said. replied (opens in a new tab) to someone asking about sources. “We haven’t seen this reconstruction yet. It will come with the helmet.
But what if it’s something bigger than that, and a real Google alternative? Well, the whole “most expensive product launch” quote certainly points to that, and the financial incentive is definitely there.
Although Google’s parent company, Alphabet, doesn’t directly distribute its search revenue in an easily digestible form, we do know that ad revenue was approximately $149 billion in 2021 (opens in a new tab)and the lion’s share will be related to research.
With Macs, iPads and iPhones now ubiquitous, perhaps Apple thinks it can truly compete, making its own search engine Safari’s default, rather than steer clear of Google. .
But this is not a venture without risk. Google has been the dominant search engine for 22 years now, and the alternatives have barely gained a foothold, even when built by companies that aren’t exactly lacking in R&D funds like Microsoft and Yahoo.
While it doesn’t hurt Apple to try in theory, the company allegedly received more than $15 billion a year from Google just to make it Safari’s default search engine (opens in a new tab). That’s a lot of money to give up for something that could very easily fall flat.
We’ll have to see what – if anything – happens in January.