Apple strengthens its own search engine development? Is it related to antitrust violation investigation in contract with Google?

 Apple strengthens its own search engine development? Is it related to antitrust violation investigation in contract with Google?

Rumors have been whispered since around 2014 that Apple is developing its own search engine (because the web crawler “Applebot” was confirmed, which Apple later officially acknowledged ), but the company recently took action. It is reported that it has been “strengthened”.

According to the Financial Times report, this was triggered by the threat of a favorable deal with Google. Apple is believed to be getting a huge amount of money in return for setting Safari’s default search engine for iOS to Google, for example, 1 trillion yen a year in 2018, about 20% of Apple’s annual service revenue. There was also speculation that it would be worth the money .

But this month, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Google for violating antitrust laws . Amid there is a growing movement to pursue the Google around the world as well as the United States only, and are investigating as a “significant barriers to entry and expansion” for the UK regulatory authorities also above of Apple and Google’s contract competitors reported Was being done .

This raises the question of what to do if Apple is banned from renewing its contract with Google and loses its income. One option is for Apple to develop its own search engine.

FT coverage does not have internal sources at Apple, but cites circumstantial evidence and general industry observations, most of which are not new. However, there is a feeling that the pieces that were disjointed together form one picture.

One of them is that the search screen, which can be called from the home screen by swiping down on iOS 14, has begun to link directly to the website. According to industry insiders, the web search feature has shown significant progress in Apple’s internal development, with testimony that it could be the basis for a full-blown attack on Google.

Another rationale is that Apple has welcomed John Giannandrea, a former Google AI and search team . Although it is ostensibly said that AI knowledge will be bought to enhance Siri’s capabilities, it is true that he has eight years of experience with Google search engines.

The third reason FT cites (albeit circumstantial) is that Apple has put forth a strong privacy policy and makes unspeakable comments on ad serving services like Google. In fact, CEO Tim Cook issued such a statement in 2016 .

But the default search engine deal with Google has brought huge profits to Apple and indirectly monetized customer privacy. Even if Apple’s own search engine is put into practical use, it may be a while away.

Bradley Reeds