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An Apple Search Engine?

By - January 15, 2010

….driven by the need to kick Google off the iPhone? An interesting idea. Worth thinking about….

From a Businessweek article:

Some analysts believe the Apple-Google battle is likely to get much rougher in the months ahead. Ovum’s Yarmis thinks Apple may soon decide to dump Google as the default search engine on its devices, primarily to cut Google off from mobile data that could be used to improve its advertising and Android technology. Jobs might cut a deal with—gasp!—Microsoft to make Bing Apple’s engine of choice, or even launch its own search engine, Yarmis says. “I fully expect [Apple] to do something in search,” he adds. “If there’s all these advertising dollars to be won, why would it want Google on its iPhones?”


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16 thoughts on “An Apple Search Engine?

  1. I know that no one will share my sentiment – But I believe Apple should buy Yahoo …Think what Apple could do with all their TOP NOTCH UI/GUI expertise to that ugly ‘still livin in the 90’s’ Yahoo site

    http://twitter.com/A_F

  2. I would assume the number of iPhone users that are heavy users of Google services (Apps, Gmail, Docs, Maps, Voice, etc.) number far too many for Apple to ever try and remove all Google products from their mobile devices.

  3. Mark Johnson says:

    Building a search engine is really, really hard and costly. It’s not about designing a better product: data is everything. And data is not Apple’s area of expertise. I think it’s time to write my blog post about how I am doubtful that a startup search engine is possible anymore.

  4. Cory says:

    The reasoning is sound, but I think they’d do a partnership, like the one suggested with Bing, before developing their own. Building an Apple search engine just to put it on the iPhone seems like too bold of a move that would spread their resources (and focus) too thin.

  5. There is almost no difference in the quality of the search results between Google, Bing and Yahoo. Consumers, however, think that Google is better because it is a superior brand. You can take Bing results, stick them on a Google page, and people will tell you that the results are vastly superior to Bing. In other words, search satisfaction at this point is largely driven by brand perception.

    If there is one company that knows how to market and brand their products, it is Apple. The iPod is an overpriced MP3 player, but the marketers at Apple have convinced everyone it is superior.

    If Apple decides to market a search engine, Google should be afraid. iPhone beats Android not because of technology but because of superior marketing.

  6. Ali says:

    For sure Apple & Yahoo can add value to each other. But even if Apple buys Yahoo (that’d be the biggest news in 2010) then what happens to iPhone maps, heavily relying on Google?
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t know any better replacements for that one.

    This is all exciting speculation, though.

  7. oriste says:

    Apple doesn’t need a search engine. Google makes money from ads, the search engine is a means to an end: by monitoring search terms, Google can provide better targeted ads. Lets call it interest-based advertising. But there is another form of advertising: proximity-based advertising. With everybody and his dog using an iPhone and Apple recently having acquired Quattro Wireless, Apple will be in a very good position to deliver those ads to your Jesus Phone! See this patent application: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-adv.html&r=5&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=apple.AS. That’s proximity-based ads! No less, no more.

    Apple to Google: “Wanna be in the smart phone business? We come play on your ad turf. Gloves are off”

    It’s going to be interesting to watch.

  8. T says:

    How much of the secret sauce of search is truly proprietary and how much is simply adapting a set of known current approaches and applying the brute force of a giant server farm?

    Could Apple buy Cuil, hire a bunch of engineers from Yahoo, Amazon, Google… add some cash and make a quick go of it?

    Most of us reading here have explored the limitations of current search engines and know pretty well at what point in our querying we can stump them, but the use-cases for search via the iphone seem much more finite and addressable.

    Seems unlikely Apple would do this, but I imagine they could explore the terrain without breaking a sweat given their cash and culture.

  9. bruce wayne says:

    If apple wants a search app and content creation platform to change the game and put google in th back seat they only need Factoetum…We have just added the ability for members to import their itunes library files into Factoetum so that they can search and find music and video that their friends also like.

    All of this and more in an all data semantic format that re writes the rules of content creation and search

  10. bruce wayne says:

    If apple wants a search app and content creation platform to change the game and put google in th back seat they only need Factoetum…We have just added the ability for members to import their itunes library files into Factoetum so that they can search and find music and video that their friends also like.

    All of this and more in an all data semantic format that re writes the rules of content creation and search

  11. They’d want Google because, as Verizon saw, most people [sadly] prefer Google such that they have a de facto monopoly.

    As to rolling their own for ad dollars, that assumes they’re going to transform into an ad company. IDK how successful Google’s phone will be (I’m skeptical) and I think the reverse effort by Apple would fail, probably more spectacularly.

  12. Amelia says:

    I agree with a previous commenter – Apple should buy Yahoo and bring it up to be real competition for Google – competition is healthy!

  13. Rob says:

    I would love to see this happen, although doubt they would just jump in. An entry through acquisition is more likely.

  14. I do agree that Apple will need some kind of strategy now that Google has pivoted to smartphone to preserve its search engine and online ad status now that everything is moving towards smartphone.
    I also agree about going the Yahoo route and buying Yahoo out as an entry strategy. Whatever is the case it should be an interesting battle

  15. Omar says:

    I love both apple and google. Apple have never spent a lot for a company and in most cases they grab startups so if apple were to enter the searcharket watch for an obscure little search related company with a secret code and that will be apples target.

    But I don’t think that will even happend.