UBS: Billions at stake for Google on Apple default search deal

“The deal that makes Google’s search engine the default option on Apple’s Safari browsers expires soon, and that could be bad news for Google if the companies don’t reach a new agreement,” Althea Chang reports for CNBC.

“Google could potentially lose billions in gross revenue if Apple switches to a different default search engine, according to a UBS research note Monday,” Chang reports. “Google this year stands to bring in about $7.8 billion in gross revenue—about 10 percent of total revenue—from its existing search engine deal with Apple, according to UBS.”

“If Apple switches to a competitor, that could represent a 5 percent headwind, or about $3.9 billion, to 2015 gross revenue, the note said. UBS made those projections under the assumption that 50 percent of Apple iOS users switch their default search engine back to Google,” Chang reports. “If Google does lose the deal, Yahoo search or Microsoft’s Bing would likely be Apple’s new default search engine, according to analysts from R.W. Baird.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: That’s an interesting assumption that 50% would switch back to Google. We wonder if that number is based on any facts or is just pulled out of the analyst’s you-know-where.

From the earliest days at Apple, I realized that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software, we’d be out of business. If it weren’t protected, there’d be no incentive for us to make new software or product designs. If protection of intellectual property begins to disappear, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason: It’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your own character. – Steve Jobs

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

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  1. “That’s an interesting assumption that 50% would switch back to Google. We wonder if that number is based on any facts or is just pulled out of the analyst’s you-know-where.” —MDN

    Google is still my default search engine, but Bing is already my preferred search engine for image search and I doubt that I would miss Google search if I ditched it altogether.

    1. I’m relatively tuned-in technology-wise, and yet I have no idea where my search results are coming from on my iPhone.

      As long as the background is white and the links are blue, I’ll keep happily tapping away on my search page results, whatever Apple chooses to serve.

      This is a big deal for Google. And it may just be the beginning.

    1. The stat that matters most to me here is that Google made $7.8 Billion gross last year by collecting and selling the personal information of Mac users. Divide that number by the number of Mac users and you see how much your privacy is worth to Google each year……

  2. Hey Apple… Here are some three word idioms that come to mind regarding Google search!…

    Cut the Cord!, Release the Hounds!, No Holds Barred!, Save Your Bacon!, Sweep the Finish!, Bite the Bullet!, Cut the Cheese!, Cut the Crap!, oh yeah, most definitely, Cut the Crap!, Takes the Cake!, The Full Monty!, feel free to add your own : )

  3. How about this: tell Google to go pound sand and make Duck Duck Go the default search engine. I don’t think this is likely, but Apple has enough of an contrarian impulse that I can’t dismiss this action outright.

  4. Cut the analyst some slack here folks. Chang isn’t predicting 50% would switch back. That is just a theoretical assumption to show what it would mean in terms of the bottom line. Do the math yourself if you think it would be more or less. The bottom line is that the working source number is pretty solid, Google is expected to bring in $7.8 billion in revenue from being the default search in Safari. That number may be off, but it’s certainly in the ballpark, and represents an overall “what is Safari worth to Google”.

  5. Didn’t apple already eliminate the need for a search engine in Yosemite’s Safari update? It just guesses where you want to go right in the address bar.

    Expand that functionality just a bit more and they make Google’s primary source of income completely useless just like Apple did to Microsoft.

    It’s a smart way to handle competitors, reduce their R&D budget while expanding your own. Kill them where it hurts.

  6. I really hate Google and all its spying services, but I also hate that microsft’s bing is the only real option. I wish Marisa Mayer would stop thinking about me for a moment (just a moment) and focus on getting yahoo back to the top of search engines, or at least second place.

  7. Personally, I hate Yahoo and Bing. I can’t stand their interfaces. The problem for Google is not just that they would lose out, but also because there are way too many computer users who don’t have the curiosity to explore and know how to change settings. They’ll just accept what’s already there instead. It’s really sad. I’m no fan of Google, but their search engine is better (in my opinion) than Yahoo or Bing.

    1. “Personally, I hate Yahoo and Bing. I can’t stand their interfaces.”

      Huh? Yahoo’s interface is the same as google’s. And regarding search results, my impression is that yahoo’s filter bubble* is a lot larger than google’s. Google? No thanks!

      * Look it up in a knowledge engine, e.g. wikipedia.

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