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Does the Google antitrust case make an Apple search engine more likely?

Apple search engine

When will Apple introduce a full-blown search engine? That query has been the subject of discussion for several years. But latterly developments, specifically the U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ’s) antitrust steps against Google, may bost any plans Apple has to go it alone in the search engine.

One could contend that Siri is a search engine. However, Siri depends heavily upon Google and Yelp, in extra to Apple Maps. As of iOS 14, Siri is “suggesting” websites straightly in federated search results started from the Apple search bar (see graphic below).

On iPhones, users can strike right from the home screen to begin a search. Apple normaly presents Google results on top, which open in Safari as stipulate by the Safari icons, followed by “Siri suggested search websites” in many instances. These links send to users directly to publisher sites and not via Google.

Siri suggested websites display in Apple combined search results.

Click to enlarge.

A number of innovations over the past few years have led us to theorize more seriously about whether a more aspiring Apple search engine may be active in the works:

  • In 2018 Apple recruited Google SVP of Engineering John Giannandrea to start the company’s machine learning and AI group. Shortly following that he took charge of Siri too.
  • Various job postings overtime for engineers.
  • Increased creeping frequency by Applebot.

The potential end of an $8+ billion search deal

One of the huge conversations in the DOJ antitrust complaint to Google is about the iPhone default search deal. The document reads, “In exchange for this advantage access to Apple’s massive consumer base, Google pays Apple billions of dollars in publicizing revenue each year, with public approximates ranging around $8–12 billion. The revenues Google shares with Apple make up roughly 15–20 percent of Apple’s worldwide net income.”


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