Marissa Mayer working to get Apple to dump Google, default to Yahoo for mobile search

“Wall Street gave Yahoo stock a big boost today — largely due to the stellar quarterly performance of China’s Alibaba, in which the Silicon Valley Internet giant has a big stake,” Kara Swisher reports for Re/code.

“While a lot of the chatter about Yahoo’s latest financials seems focused on increasing display advertising sales — which went up two percent in Yahoo’s first quarter — sources inside the company say the big focus for truly turbocharging revenue will be an aggressive effort being led by CEO Marissa Mayer and Adam Cahan, its SVP of mobile and emerging products, around search,” Swisher reports. “And, according to sources, the lodestone of two internal projects aimed at building a viable mobile search engine and monetization platform is to convince Apple to make Yahoo the default search engine on its Safari browser on the iPhone and iPad.”

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo by Brigitte Lacombe)
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer (photo by Brigitte Lacombe)
“A number of Yahoo insiders I have talked to said her plan to pitch Apple on the idea as its marquee mobile search partner is far along. The company has prepared detailed decks, including images of what such a search product would look like, and hopes to present them to Apple execs,” Swisher reports. “That has not happened as yet officially and no deal is imminent — it’s just the big honking goal of the new Yahoo effort, said sources. Still, several said Mayer has already buttonholed a few Apple executives on the topic, including its powerful SVP of design, Jony Ive, who knows the former Google exec well.”

“In a piece titled ‘The Google-Free iPhone,’ my BFF M.G. Siegler pointed out the obvious: ‘Apple is directly responsible for billions of dollars being sent Google’s way via search on its devices. This will only continue to increase. It’s believed that Google makes more money off of iOS devices through search than they do through Android devices. In other words, Apple is indirectly subsidizing a portion of the major war against itself. Yep,” Swisher reports. “Yep. That thought has clearly occurred to Mayer.”

Tons more – click through for all the details – in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, if you really want to wage thermonuclear war, you have to actually detonate a nuke here and there, you know?

Something impactful like this sure beats watching a bunch of lawyers dick around in courtrooms around the world for years to no great avail.

Leave Google as a non-default option in iOS Safari and that’ll avoid any blowback as experienced with the Apple Maps debacle (which itself could have been avoided with a simple “beta” label).

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” and “Bill” for the heads up.]

58 Comments

    1. Apple should just make DuckDuckGo it’s default search engine. Then there’s no stated favoritism, ulterior motives; Apple will be protecting it’s users from their searches being tracked. Doing a good thing.

    1. I have no idea why so many down votes for birdy. The one thing Google is truly good at is search. Yahoo is pathetic. Don’t get me wrong… I want Google (and Samsung) to die in a grease fire, but Apple does what’s best for it’s customers, and at this point taking away Google search would be bad. I wish it weren’t true.

      1. I agree that Yahoo isn’t great as a search engine, but I’ve used Bing (in protest of Google) for 2 years and RARELY have to double up a search with Google.

        If Yahoo could polish up their search, I’d be on board with this.

  1. I’m not so sure about this. Yahoo ripped off Dashboard and called it Yahoo Widgets, is rumored to be turning Yahoo TV into a competitor to Apple TV, and was even thinking of buying Tizen, and calling it Yahoo OS. I’m not comfortable with this company. They could easily betray Apple…not to mention that they should stay in the 90s, and let the modernists do all the futuristic stuff.

      1. But it’s sorta like buying Google. Both companies managed to slavishly rip-off Apple, it’s just that Google did it better. And if I’m not mistaken, Yahoo’s search results are powered by Bing, which is, of course, Owned by the Big MS. Apple should stay far away from Yahoo, and Yahoo should stay far away from the 21st century.

  2. Missing from the summary is the fact that Google pays Apple $1 Billion a year to be the default search. Also Yahoo search is powered by Bing and Microsoft gets a cut from that.

    Apple should let the 3 bid on the default and get as much as they can for it if they’re not going to develop their own or buy Yahoo (just over $36 Billion market cap).

      1. Do a search on Yahoo search and look at the results. On the bottom of the page it says, “Powered by Bing”.

        There was a whole long story with Ballmer wanting to buy Yahoo. It got nasty and the compromise was Microsoft powering Yahoo search.

        In the past Yahoo has used Google, Inktomi, and others.

        Yahoo bought Inktomi and between 2004-2009 they were their own search engine.

        Marissa Mayer has expressed interest in parting ways with Microsoft and returning to being their own search again.

        I’m not sure exactly what the contract is with Microsoft, but Yahoo is about to get a ton of cash (billions) from its sell of its stake in Alibaba when that goes public.

        So if Yahoo could end its contract with Microsoft and get the default position on iOS, and spend more money on marketing they could get some significant market share away from Google.

        1. True, but they still attempted to buy Tizen for their Yahoo TV system, as well as a proposed Yahoo Phone. Yahoo indirectly supported proven criminals Samsung by doing this. Apple and Yahoo makes about as much sense as Apple and Samsung.

          1. Do you have a source for “attempted to buy Tizen”? I’d think that would be pretty hard to do considering it’s an open source project within the Linux Foundation with Samsung and Intel on the steering committee, and it’s sole purpose is to create an alternative to Android where it’s directed by association members (12 of them) as opposed to being ruled by one company (like Android essentially is by Google).

            Apple needs a default search engine, and unless they’re going to buy or create one (either which I wouldn’t mind), which do you suggest they go with?

            Google who betrayed them recently and competes directly.
            Microsoft who betrayed them previously and competes directly. Or Yahoo, who’s never betrayed them and doesn’t have any real direct competition of significance (it’s hard to claim Yahoo TV is significant).

            Microsoft, Google, Yahoo… which is the lesser of the evils? Who will bid the most?

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