Why doesn’t Apple do its own search engine?

“In 2013, Apple sold about 150 million iPhones and about 70 million iPads,” Ashraf Eassa writes for Seeking Alpha. “It’s probably safe to assume that the vast majority of these Apple customers use their phones to surf the web, and the odds are pretty good that they’re using the built-in, Apple-designed Safari browser to do that searching.”

“Apple doesn’t have its own search engine, so Google and Microsoft benefit — the latter’s search technology powers Yahoo! as well,” Eassa writes. “Could Apple develop search to cash in on this large install base of iOS devices?”

“Building a world-class, global search engine is not easy, and as talented as Apple’s engineering teams are, creating one from scratch would require a significant investment and would likely take quite a long time to do properly,” Eassa writes. “Buying a world-class search engine would be impossible unless Microsoft were willing to part with Bing, and even then, it’s unclear if Apple would be able to morph Bing into something that provides a better user experience than Google search does today.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: DuckDuckGo.

40 Comments

  1. IF Apple had ever given much of a care about its own website search engine, I’d be encouraging to create an alternative to Gaggle. But Apple has NEVER taken their own search engine seriously. It’s a mess and always has been. It’s so terrible, that I now only search the Apple website using an INTERNET search engine, such as Grakkle and DuckDuckGo. The search results are BRILLIANTLY superior to Apple’s own crap search engine. I hate Apple’s search engine, and they’ve known my opinion for years. I never miss an opportunity to tell them how much I hate it.

        1. You’re a knucklehead, but I gotta agree with you on this one. Searching for anything on their website is an effort in futility. I’m very hesitant to recommend to a new Apple user to look for help on that site, which is embarrassing.

    1. Apple did their search engine like they did their maps. They both suck.
      Despite their huge successes, Apple is not infallible. They turn out some real crap sometimes.

  2. Back in the day …the best web search engine I ever used was Apple’s Sherlock. Very relevant info; always returned the best searches when I compared with other search engines. (I don’t know if searchers were basically crowd-sourced by Apple users. If not, it sounds like a great idea.) And no ads. It was a sad day when Apple shut it down. I don’t know why, either. If maps are strategically important to Apple, then surely web search is, too.

  3. Search can be done so much better. Links with minor descriptions are time consuming and outdated.

    A better way would be to provide a paragraph summary of the page/article contents. The latest information should be first in the results. For example, if a user is searching for the latest hologram experiments/news then summary articles would appear with links for further reading. Each summary article should contain selectable icons which when clicked would show videos, radio broadcasts, twitter feeds, blog comments, etc.

    Apple and Yahoo might be experimenting with similar ideas. Today, Apple’s Siri provides summary answers from Wikipedia with links for further reading. Page summaries from other sources, multimedia and social would be a nice improvement. In addition, check out Yahoo’s News Digest App. It is similar in design to the idea of a more efficient and pleasurable search.

  4. THE REAL REASON APPLE… Doesn’t do search is because they only enter markets where there is opportunity and one major player isn’t dominating, or if they are… They suck at it. They only enter when they know there is a product that they can do better than anyone else out there. Perhaps by not entering the search market they are signaling to us that there isn’t a better way for it to be done (that they’ve thought of).

    1. Yeah, well in case you hadn’t noticed – Google search sucks big time now. Over time, its usefulness has been quietly whittled down to be replaced by mostly paid advertising. You can’t do the simplest search without being swamped with ads, getting in the way of what you really want to know. Yeah, it would be a huge thing to take on and do properly, but I really, really wish they would, coz Google and Bing both have me tearing out my hair every time I use them.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.