Apple should develop its own search engine to take on Google

We’ve been saying that Apple should develop their own search engine to counteract Google’s monopoly. No one company should control the flow of information and how and what information is surfaced as Google does today.

Apple logo

Google is not the best search engine for everything. Other search engines have their strong points (use Bing for images and DuckDuckGo for real privacy, for two examples). As Apple did with Maps, Cook should have done with Search (except smartly tagged “beta” at launch, of course). It’s not too late to begin rectifying that mistake.MacDailyNews, November 19, 2018

Tae Kim for Bloomberg:

It’s time for Apple Inc. to get off its easy money addiction and go for a bigger score: develop its own search engine.

For years, the smartphone maker has financially benefited from a lucrative deal in which Alphabet Inc.’s Google paid Apple billions of dollars to be the default search engine option on iOS devices. However, in a world of rising antitrust scrutiny the arrangement isn’t likely to survive. That’s why Apple should proactively get ahead of any risk and make its own offering. The move would help appease regulators, but also be a smart one for its main business.

The numbers in the Google search deal are getting too egregious. Last week, Bernstein raised eyebrows when it updated its latest projections on the accord. The firm estimated Apple will receive $15 billion from Google this year, increasing to as much as $20 billion next year.

MacDailyNews Take: Why, if cheap Android iPhone knockoffs have more users worldwide, does Google pay Apple so much to be Safari’s default search engine?

Because macOS, iOS, and iPadOS users are worth far more than those who settle for Android.

“All men are created equal.”

Well, not when it comes to users of smartphones and tablets…

The bottom line: Those who settle for Android devices are not equal to iOS users. The fact is that iOS users are worth significantly more than Android settlers to developers, advertisers, third-party accessory makers (speakers, cases, chargers, cables, etc.), vehicle makers, musicians, TV show producers, movie producers, book authors, carriers, retailers, podcasters… The list goes on and on.

The quality of the customer matters. A lot.

Facile “analyses” that look only at market (unit) share, equating one Android settler to one iOS user, make a fatal error by incorrectly equating users of each platform one-to-one.

When it comes to mobile operating systems, all users are simply not equal.SteveJack, MacDailyNews, November 15, 2014


Android is pushed to users who are, in general:

a) confused about why they should be choosing an iPhone over an inferior knockoff and therefore might be less prone to understand/explore their devices’ capabilities or trust their devices with credit card info for shopping; and/or
b) enticed with “Buy One Get One Free,” “Buy One, Get Two or More Free,” or similar ($100 Gift Cards with Purchase) offers.

Neither type of customer is the cream of the crop when it comes to successful engagement or coveted demographics; closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top, in fact. Android can be widespread and still demographically inferior precisely because of the way in which and to whom Android devices are marketed. Unending BOGO promos attract a seemingly unending stream of cheapskate freetards just as inane, pointless TV commercials about robots or blasting holes in concrete walls attract meatheads and dullards, not exactly the best demographics unless you’re peddling muscle building powders or grease monkey overalls.

Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong.

Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.

iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the Hee Haw demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth.MacDailyNews, November 26, 2012

In fact, the distribution payments were a centerpiece of last October’s Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit against Google. For good reason. It makes it nearly impossible for a smaller startup to get a foothold in the market where Google has a monopoly-type hold. According to StatCounter, the internet giant has 92% of the global search engine industry. And with the payouts only inclined to soar further, I don’t see how this blatantly anti-competitive practice can stand in court.

But an end of the partnership may turn out to be a blessing. Search is one of the few large technology markets that can move the needle for a multi-trillion-dollar company like Apple. Bernstein says Google generates more than $50 billion in revenue from iOS customers. So, why not take out the middleman and get a larger part of the pie?

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over seven years ago, referring to Steve Jobs’ vow to go nuclear on Google over the stolen product of Android, commenting on the idea that Apple should buy DuckDuckGo:

“If you really want to wage thermonuclear war, wage thermonuclear war.”

Plus, [DuckDuckGo] has a stupid name that just begs to be changed to “Apple Search.” It’s perfect for Apple!MacDailyNews, June 19, 2015

If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try today!

Apple allows users to easily switch to the privacy-respecting DuckDuckGo search engine in Safari:

macOS:
1. Click Safari in the top menu bar.
2. Select Preferences.
3. Click on Search.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.

iOS/iPadOS:
1. Open Settings.
2. Navigate and tap on Safari.
3. Tap on Search Engine.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.

42 Comments

  1. Duck duck go is just a front end for bing. Apple needs its own ground up engine. I would trust apple with a search engine if they do the right thing and get CSAAM scanning off your device.

    1. The damage is done. That they are even considering warrantless searches of customer data without customer permission speaks to the rot of “Woke” Tech at Apple’s very core.

  2. Not only should Apple develop its own search engine, but they should also develop their own alternate to Amazon’s AWS cloud computing service. Apple has both the capital and the expertise to create viable alternatives to the Google/Amazon monopolies.

    Of course, some will just accuse Apple of being its OWN monopoly, so maybe this is a bad idea after all.

    1. Compare the piss poor performance of Apple Maps versus Google Maps and you have the answer.

      No amount of money and woke Apple leadership without Job’s killer instinct is going to dethrone Google. Me too is as close as Apple will achieve and a waste of money.

      The famous phrase ingrained in society, Google it, will never be replaced by Apple. Google is light years ahead with name recognition and technology…

  3. If you want to go thermonuclear, go thermonuclear FFS…

    This being the one thing where Cook really should have thought about what Jobs would have done in all his possible meanness, and not go for the soft and easy money grab whilst exposing your user base to the Evil One.

  4. When you’re beaten you don’t compete, you leapfrog. No one will beat Google at text-based web search. Leapfrogging may involve apps, may be voice-only, may involve high level heuristics, or more likely will be something more complex than someone can contemplate in the 3 minute window it takes to comment on an MDN article.

    Going head to head with Google on search will be a bag of hurt. Not worth it, honestly.

    The author makes a moral argument. That no one company should be allowed to control search. Apple has no responsibility to save the earth from Google’s search dominance. If it’s such a danger then the government can step in, or another company can make the argument and compete on merits.

    1. “If it’s such a danger then the government can step in…”

      It is advantageous to government, especially authoritarian governments, to have a single point of control.

      That way, when a person googles “Trump,” for example, stories of a fake “insurrection” and other narratives can be delivered to gaslight the population above results for Trump’s website, factual articles about his policies, etc.

      If you have competition in online search, that creates more points and a loss of control, so the government (establishment) would rather have Google under their thumb.

          1. You have it exactly the opposite. Dumb Biden supporters don’t read encyclopedias they are programmed by the party and biased media what to think and believe. Wikipedia is right up their alley…

          1. Yes, anyone can contribute which is a major part of the problem. When Wiki first came out the largest newspapers and wire services quoted Wiki daily as source material. After discovery of too many false entries, Wiki was banned by Big Journalism and no longer used. As it should be…

            1. While true that anyone can contribute, if you actually tried adding anything you would quickly see that it’s not easy to enter questionable information or your edit will be labeled as requiring a citation bringing it to any reasonable researchers’ attention that the ‘new’ entry and the author of that entry may be unreliable in as source.

            2. While that maybe true in principle, obviously NOT bulletproof and does not work in practice. Gold standard example: someone posted Wiki entry on Biden 100% positive and Trump 100% negative. When the liberal biased fake media will not quote Wiki for over a decade now, that speaks volumes…🤔

            3. Though the original intent may have been to become a definitive source/hub for the world’s information, as you say it is not and to my recollection has never really proclaimed to be THE definitive source. As I indicated, it is a community edited and maintained source so I suppose you could say it would have biases leaning towards the authors’ perspectives. But that is also the beauty of Wikipedia, you can also add/edit entries as long as you can cite the source where you drew from to make that edit/entry. The fact that you claim 100% bias (positive/negative) shows that those readers that also feel that way do not care to try adding to the entry to remedy the perceived biases.

            1. X1170 you fail to realize two important realities.

              Wikipedia despite your tedious defense of their policies are not as rosy and idealistic as you claim. Certainly false information makes it way through an uneven process and standards not equally applied.

              The other is as JR mentioned Wiki is tainted with woke censorship like the rest of Big Tech. Not a fair and balanced process as you allege.

              I repeat for the third time: If Big Biased Liberal Media no longer uses Wiki as a source, that speaks VOLUMES.

              Take off the rose colored glasses and embrace REALITY. Wiki is fraught with false information and biased woke entries and NOT a credible source…

            2. It’s a good starting point and I never said it should be an exclusive source. If you don’t like the politicized entries, you have the freedom to not look it up and use Wikipedia for other info you might be interested in. If Wikipedia does not meet your needs then find other sources that you prefer that do. I don’t think most people stop their research after reading any Wikipedia entry.

              You keep repeating that it speaks volumes that “Big Biased Liberal Media no longer uses Wiki as a source.” You’ll have to cite where you get that idea, otherwise it is no more than your opinion.

            3. X1170 wrote:

              “It’s a good starting point and I never said it should be an exclusive source.”

              You never said it’s a good starting point until now. You have been touting Wiki, or at least implied several times, as almost a reliable end all be all source with community standards in place for accuracy backed by shaming and expulsion.

              But good to read you are now advocating do not use as an “exclusive source.” Finally progress. 🤠 Yes, approach Wiki with critical thinking, skepticism and further more credible research.

              Will admit, certainly an idealistic romantic thought from a bygone era. Specifically, Wiki in the beginning a policing global community in search of the truth (facts) and standards for ALL. Once regularly quoted in the national media hard news stories. That all ended overnight when the largest national newspapers had to publish retractions because of false information.

              Unfortunately, the lack of even standards on this popular site are routinely compromised, fraught with major errors and woke biased entries as politics TAINTS everything today.

              “If you don’t like the politicized entries, you have the freedom to not look it up and use Wikipedia for other info you might be interested in.”

              Never said I don’t like political entries, quite the contrary. But what I’m saying is have zero use for skewed, biased, false political entries on Wiki. Would not use anything political on the site because COMPROMISED many moons ago.

              “If Wikipedia does not meet your needs then find other sources that you prefer that do.”

              Well, the self righteousness directives finally come out when challenged, not a surprise. Thanks, but I do not need permission to use Wiki or any other source. Smart enough to not trust Wiki and triple verify elsewhere.

              “I don’t think most people stop their research after reading any Wikipedia entry.”

              In the false FAKE media climate of today with most young people getting their news, from all places, the most woke sites in Big Social Media: Fakebook, Twits tweeting and InstaLame — I could not disagree more.

              “You keep repeating that it speaks volumes that “Big Biased Liberal Media no longer uses Wiki as a source.” You’ll have to cite where you get that idea, otherwise it is no more than your opinion.”

              Yes, and I’ll say it a fourth time. Sorry I don’t have time to do your homework. Suffice it to say I know firsthand from inside industry sources and journalism watchdogs statement is indeed ACCURATE.

              Tell you what. You find a Top 50 media outlet nationwide that still quotes Wiki for HARD NEWS. Not fluff news like entertainment, food, fashion, home decorating, etc. Seriously doubt you will have any luck…

            4. [“You keep repeating that it speaks volumes that “Big Biased Liberal Media no longer uses Wiki as a source.” You’ll have to cite where you get that idea, otherwise it is no more than your opinion.”

              Yes, and I’ll say it a fourth time. Sorry I don’t have time to do your homework. Suffice it to say I know firsthand from inside industry sources and journalism watchdogs statement is indeed ACCURATE.]

              Ah I think you misunderstood. I meant by that portion of my comment that I don’t believe that the BBLM ever used Wiki as a reliable source and wanted you to cite where you got the idea that they did. And since you now state that you have firsthand knowledge you should have no problem citing it for the rest of us here.

            5. You again? 🙄

              X1170 wrote:

              [“You keep repeating that it speaks volumes that “Big Biased Liberal Media no longer uses Wiki as a source.”]

              “You’ll have to cite where you get that idea, otherwise it is no more than your opinion.”

              NO. I don’t have to do cite ANYTHING.

              [Suffice it to say I know firsthand from inside industry sources and journalism watchdogs statement is indeed ACCURATE.]

              “Ah I think you misunderstood. I meant by that portion of my comment that I don’t believe that the BBLM ever used Wiki as a reliable source and wanted you to cite where you got the idea that they did.”

              Misunderstood? This is your first mention of BBLM whatever the hell that is and not going to waste time on a concocted straw man.

              “And since you now state that you have firsthand knowledge you should have no problem citing it for the rest of us here.”

              Obviously I have a problem penetrating a thick skull that tediously hangs on to one minor aspect of my posts and does NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.

              Let me guess, you’re going to respond since I don’t cite a source it is not fact, only opinion, right?

              The information is on the internet and for the second time I’m not doing your homework.

              Hey, try your favorite Wikipedia they will have it since they are credible and beyond reproach in your posts… 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

      1. You had me, right up until the line about the “fake insurrection”.

        There was nothing fake about January 6. We all saw it, live, on television, with our mouths agape. To suggest otherwise is to suggest the Earth is flat. Or — to put it in terms that you might actually appreciate — that Windows is superior to the Mac.

        The Earth is not flat. Windows still sucks. And the insurrection was real.

        1. “You had me, right up until the line about the “fake insurrection”.

          Another useful tool spreading the Big Lie of 2021! 👎🏻👎🏻

          Totally FALSE made up term by Pelosi and Big Media Democrats to damage President Trump and impeach him. For a writerguy your reading is somewhat narrow.

          Estimated over 300 people and less than 500 inside the Capitol. A MIX of peaceful protestors walked in doors the police opened, to agitators breaking windows and forcing doors from Left and Right groups protest groups.

          From a BLM activist: “once the crowd is through, Sullivan can be heard yelling, “We accomplished this sh–. We did this together,” and, “We are all a part of this history. … Let’s burn this s— down,” according to the affidavit.”

          https://www.theepochtimes.com/doj-seizes-90000-charges-black-lives-matter-supporter-who-stormed-capitol-sold-footage-to-news-outlets_3827441.html

          You cannot have an insurrection with unarmed people and no military presence to overthrow a government. How ridiculous it was a few hundred rowdy people out of a rally of over 70 thousand are going accomplish the fake words of media and Pelosi.

          The FBI agreed in the last two weeks released a report no evidence of insurrection. Not found on page one in WP and NYT, nor on CNN every half hour for a week. Gee, I wonder why.🤔

          I’ll tell you why. When the media is dead wrong they no longer apologize or issue a retraction. THEY HIDE and do NOT publish the real story and wait for it to simply go away. They do not hold the Democrats Pelosi and Biden “truth to power.” Big Media today is FAKE BIASED SCUM…

  5. I dislike Googles strategy of me being the product and almost since the beginning of DDG, started using that. However, I finally got tired of settling for the fringe or shallow “finds” that came up with DDG. Almost a year ago, I had to go back to Google as default to get specific “finds” that did not show up on DDG.

    I don’t like that, but I need the correct finds/answers that DDG does not give.

    1. For anything political or controversial, DuckDuckGo is unbiased. For anything technical or general, Google gets deep accurate results. Different tools for different uses.

      1. Is Google Search biased due to your past searches or biased in general from the get go. Personalization algorithms in general tend to create echo chambers and the subject of ‘politics’ is a really big area for it to exist.

        1. My searches are not political at all’ all searches are 1. generalized but basically obscure, 2. technical in nature, or 3. long ago historical events.

            1. No! I know much better than to use add links. I am an old codger and around before Apple was born. I have watched the search engine history; the link-industry history and the “keep a record of your searches & click” history. I know that web sites that were taken down 20 years ago still exist in storage in cyber space. One day a wild and expensive divorce settlement will be decided by what is stored on some cyber storage. One’s political clicks are saved, period. I have lived for years next door to totalitarian countries and know the repercussions from simply clicking on a political link. So NO, I know better. As I wrote earlier – NO. I don’t.

            2. I don’t think you understood what i meant. Yes, clicking on ad/add links will also track you but the simple act of even typing the URL directly to visit a page becomes data for Search. If you browse at all you will be tracked and bias your future search results.

              Even if you use Search engines like DDG, it may keep your own searches private but does aggregate the frequency of site visit by the entire user group as a whole which also leads to a group level bias for the results returned.

  6. What would be the business model for Apple search? I love the idea and would pay to use it, but imagine most would not—even Apple users. Apple would be giving up $15B annual revenue and also have to support its own service. I’m not fond of subsidizing the service with advertisements but believe they could do it in a way that maintains privacy. Without ads do you think enough reputational benefit could exist that it would be financially worth it?

  7. IMHO Apple got into Maps for no good reason and a total waste of money and resources.

    Google and others are much more comprehensive. Suspect the same would happen with half-assed Apple getting into Search, second rate at best.

    If Apple bought DDG they would probably not devote the resources necessary gauging their track record with other me too offerings. The concern for anti-woke is adjusting DDG algorithms to skew political results same as Google.

    Better course take the payoff 15B and save the money on Search, time and effort Apple and put it to better use.

    My favorite wish is to make Mac the best it can be at the best price it can be…

  8. No, it shouldn’t. We need a free speech alternative to Google, not another Leftist censored search engine. Try comparing the results of Google and DDGo. Google is totally biased, China style.

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