Is Apple Launching a Search Engine?

Tim Cook waving in front of Apple logo on black background.
Photo Credit: Washington Post

Apple may soon be launching its own search engine.

Right now, Google pays Apple $8-12 billion per year to be the default search engine on all iPhones.

If there is any truth to the Financial Times report released earlier this week,

Apple’s search engine will serve as the new default standard on all company devices.

Some tech insiders even believe that changes in iOS 14 (Apple’s latest operating system) like the swipe-down search box, are telltale signs of a bigger strategy at play. About two years ago, Apple hired John Giannandrea; Google’s former head of search. More than 90% of global Internet searches are controlled by Google. Roughly half of the company’s total search traffic comes from Apple devices.

If speculation about Apple’s new search engine is true, it will represent a huge shift for both companies.

It could either mean Google might be willing to pay even more to remain the default standard (thereby stopping Apple from expanding its reach) or Apple is switching up culturally and stepping forward— ready to take on a new challenge (at the risk of billions).

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice (and 11 other states) filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Google, to “restore competition in search and search advertising markets.” You can read the full announcement here.

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