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Google is paying Apple billions per year to remain on the iPhone (cnbc.com)
212 points by pestkranker on Aug 14, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 235 comments



So, in other words, $25B worth of attention is transferred from iOS users to Google[1], which Google pays Apple $3B for this access.

[1] https://www.recode.net/2017/7/24/16020330/google-digital-mob...


Many of the users will change default to google anyways. And I think it might even hurt apple a little to not use google as default search engine.


You're greatly overestimating the number of users who change defaults in their software. It would be a huge hit to Google's mobile efforts for sure.


Look at what happened when Firefox switched default search. The default search on Firefox is now worth far less than it was before as they lost huge amounts of browser market share.

Bing is down to 2.5% market share , global and all platforms.

http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share Search engine market share Worldwide | StatCounter Global Stats

Down to 6.5% in the US for all platforms. But is also declining.

http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/uni...

Plus Bing having so little share and revs to invest it has really fallen behind Google in particular in Mobile.


That's $correlation !== $causation. You can't for sure isolate "default search engine" as the only variable (because it wasn't), but I'm sure it was a significant driver.

Remember that Google was pushing performance, had a massive install base and marketing budget during those years.

There is a huge amount of friction added to a system (in this case, the browser-web ecosystem) when a major change like the default search engine is changed. The aggregation of all frictions is what causes users to alter their behavior or seek other solutions to reduce that friction. If iOS were to switch, some users would figure out how to change their default setting, others would simply see an increase in frustration with "the product" (meaning iOS + web search). It is likely to cause some migration, but probably not a significant amount until and unless other frictions are added.


Google is orders of magnitude better than their competition in search. Apple's customers will be sure to complain if they default to any other search engine.


I have made a conscious effort to avoid Google products as much as I could for some time, part social experiment, but also because I could use Bing without having to use a VPN while living in China.

My personal results are that you can totally ditch Google Search, Gmail, etc, and no, Google stuff is not orders of magnitude better. Nowadays, living outside the GFW again, I switch freely between Bing and DuckDuckGo, but it will always be a pain in the ass not having access to Youtube. That, imho, is Google's killer product.

And then you have things like Yandex which is a tad better than Google in Russia and Baidu which does the same in China (compared to Google HK)


While working for Microsoft china, I would use Google at work at Bing at home...

Baidu is never good, every search I do there seems to turn up mostly porn (and I'm far from searching for porn).


I should point out that Baidu is good for China IF you are searching the Chinese internet. Which means writing stuff in pinyin or Chinese characters. It is pretty cool how it deals with pinyin though.

Plus the other benefit of Baidu is that unlike Bing, where you would get a whole bunch of results, only to find that the page was blocked in China for one reason or another, Baidu allowed you to actually work without too much hassle inside that ridiculous censorship system.


I strongly disagree. I switched to Duck Duck Go about six months ago and haven't missed Google at all.

Maybe Google was much better at some point in time in the past, but I haven't noticed any meaningful difference these days.

Google's advantage is their massive brand awareness. They've done an outstanding job with brand marketing - positioning themselves as smart and nerdy, so people are inclined to subconsciously think of them as highly performant, even without any evidence to back it up.


I have DDG as my default, but I append !g any time I am looking for something local. DDG obviously can't (and shouldn't!) compete there.


Absolute bullshit.

I've been using Bing for about a year now and it's almost indistinguishable from Google.

Google seems to be better at heavily semantic queries. For example, just recently I tried "that picture where capitalism is represented as a giant octopus". Bing didn't have the picture I wanted on the first page. Google did but wasn't the first hit.

But for 99.9% of the queries, if you say Google is "order of magnitude better", you're talking out of your ass and my suspicion is you haven't even bothered trying anything else in at least 5 years.


Firefox users didn't complain.

Apple users don't complain that the default Maps app is Apple Maps, despite Apple Maps being a famous punchline.


I don't know what your measure of complaining is, but it generated enough criticism to allow google maps in the app store. I will be happier if the default is google maps and I think many share this feeling.


Mark me down as one who hates it defaulting to Apple's maps. On the older iPad, you could not even use the web version go Google Maps. Horrible!


I did. I think it should ask you upon clean install. Even the UI for changing search engines is cumbersome.


I don't think that's the case anymore these days


I have one computer that has Bing as the default search, and the results are continually painfully worse than Google.


I agree. I've used Bing for a long time now, starting as an experiment to see how big the difference was. In practice the difference is very small, although once a week or so I'll need to use Google to search for something.


I completely disagree.

DDG's results have been better than google's for years now.

From time to time I sit next to a friend or coworker and watch then trying to google something. I DDG looking for the same information and it's usually amongst the first few results. (for anything non-trivial, of course, for trivial things, any search engine works).


OP:"Google is orders of magnitude better than their competition in search."

Sure, so long as we agree the search results are relevant.


There are entire industries of the internet economy that disagree with you.


Completely false; there is a reason almost no-body uses Microsoft Edge while the majority prefers Chrome.

I'm 100% sure the top search query in any other search engine they place by default would be "google".


> there is a reason almost no-body uses Microsoft Edge while the majority prefers Chrome.

I think #1 reason is aggressive marketing.

I’ve been using MS Edge for a couple of years. Works OK, the only minor issue was annoying popups on e.g. youtube advertising Chrome. Fortunately, adblock worked.


Not really, the #1 reason is that came out at a time the most common explorer was IE8, and IE9 which was an improvement over 8 but still slow and clunky as hell (and no ad-blocking). The story would be different if Edge had existed back then, but then again Edge exists as a response to Chrome (before Chrome, browsers didn't even auto-update silently)


I've long quit being surprised at default search results coming up through Bing/Yahoo these days. Shocker at first, though.


What's the exchange rate between units of attention and dollars these days?


to Google: about 8 to 1...


2 upvotes


It's less than the 30% Apple usually prefers as a cut, but they'll take it.


>On the other hand, Sacconaghi said that Apple's iOS devices contribute about 50 percent to Google's mobile search revenue, which means Google might be too afraid to walk away from its licensing deal with Apple.

50%? Am I reading this right, that iOS makes up 50% of Google's mobile search revenue? IDC reports that Android made up 85% of the mobile OS market share in Q1-17, while iOS makes up 14.6%. How could iOS be contributing half of the mobile search revenue when Google's own OS is on most of the mobile devices in the world?

[0]https://www.idc.com/promo/smartphone-market-share/os


This observation is the single most important thing you need to know if you work in consumer mobile.

To first order, iPhone owners spend money. Android owners don't. This is because your average iPhone user cares more about what phone they're using and simply uses it more.

This is a first-order approximation. The small percentage of people who actively choose Android do spend and do use their phones a lot, and by goodness are they vocal, but the more useful way of thinking about the market is not two-segment, it's three-segment:

* Vast majority: don't care about their phone OS, won't pay for anything

* Significant minority: want iPhones, will most probably spend money

* Significant but even smaller minority: actively want Android, will buy premium Android phones (e.g. Nexus, high-end Samsung), will either spend money or, with roughly equal likelihood, jailbreak and pirate everything in sight.

From this perspective iOS remains the most compelling mobile OS to target. Additionally, iOS users – on average - use apps more and for longer, though again that effect is small when you control for the kind of Android devices people go out of their way to choose.


> From this perspective iOS remains the most compelling mobile OS to target.

That fine if you're trying to make money, but it still annoys me when something like a government or non-profit targets iPhone first.


Absolutely, yes. Your moral argument there is pretty undeniable; I'm speaking purely to propensity-to-spend and that's a pretty narrow lens.

In fact, I'd say "target the web" if you're going for maximum accessibility and you're not driven by commercial factors, though that doesn't work for every app and the usability/discoverability issues can be real. Favoring any commercial platform as a government is a very uncomfortable place to be.


Yes, that's annoying, but Android development is more expensive.


If the first segment won't pay for anything, and 50% of Google's mobile revenue comes from iOS products, that implies that the second and third segments must be of roughly equal size?


It's even more dramatic than that. Google make money on advertising, not direct sales, so what you're saying is "the (usage * advertiser desirability) from the entirety of group 2 is roughly equal to groups 1 and 3 combined".

Given group 1 is many times bigger than group 2, that's a very strong statement, but it's borne out in all the data I've ever seen, both public and private.


roughly equal _spend_, perhaps, but not size (since by 'size' I assume you mean # of users)


This is a great insight, thank you! Do you have some source of information to dig further?


>To first order, iPhone owners spend money. Android owners don't. This is because your average iPhone user cares more about what phone they're using and simply uses it more.

More like, is willing to spend $700 on a phone.

The problem with android is that even the "high end" android phones (in the US anyway) are still just wrappers around the snapdragon 8xx SOCs. They're all exactly the same and feel almost as closed as the iphone.


Turns out paying $700 is a pretty good proxy for "caring", though!


Can you even get an iPhone for $700 anymore? When I got the 6S (not plus) with 128GB memory for myself and my wife they were $1100 each I think?


They still sell iPhone SEs for under $500, although that's debatable about whether it's an actual iPhone or not.


The 128GB 6S was $849 USD. 64 was $750 and 16 was $650.


You have to include Applecare+ or you're buying a phone without a warranty. That's another $150 i think and then tax


When people compare phone prices, they don't count extended warranties in the listed price.

iPhones have a warranty at list price; AppleCare extends it and increases the scope of service.

I do agree that anyone who plans on purchasing an extended warranty for any product research it ahead of time so the total purchase price fits into their budget, though, and the same goes for sales taxes.


This is because your average iPhone user cares more about what phone they're using and simply uses it more >>> has more money

FTFY


More "chooses to spend what money they have on a phone" plus "has the money to spend", which is almost but not quite what you're saying. I know some very rich people with whatever Android device the network gave them. They just don't care that much.


How could iOS be contributing half of the mobile search revenue when Google's own OS is on most of the mobile devices in the world?

Because the users who buy things on mobile overwhelmingly use iPhones. All the money to be made is there.

I spoke with Tencent a month ago and they said over half of their users (across wechat/QQ etc...) are on iOS. That was a surprise to me as I thought Android phones completely dominated the Chinese market.


> That was a surprise to me as I thought Android phones completely dominated the Chinese market.

Likely that Android does dominate the Chinese market like the rest of the world.

I think a better way to view it is to segment the mobile device market into 3: high, middle and low end; Apple dominates the high-end market segment. iPhones are still largely considered a status symbol in China.


That doesn't explain why half of Tencent's users use iPhone. Some huge % of Chinese phones must have a Tencent app installed.


I'm sure for QQ that isn't true since those users are much more low end. WeChat maybe....but I still find it a bit of a stretch. Maybe they meant half of their revenue rather than market share?


Except Google is generally paid per click or per display (Doubleclick banners).

It's possible iOS users use their phones more, or some variation on that.


It's more nuanced than that. The per click and per display prices are tied to user behavior.


Market Share does not represent Usage Share. It is a known fact that even though the market share of Android is more than iOS is used much more than Android and generate more quality earnings than Android. All app developers develop iOS first and make a disproportionate percentage of revenue on iOS than any other mobile platform


Can you describe what more quality earnings means? Do you have a source for the breakdown of particular earnings (i.e., is this simply ad-clickthrough, or is there some dimension I'm not aware of?)

I find this very interesting, not that the earnings are so high on Apple, but that Google could be failing so miserably to earn mobile search revenue on their own platform. I feel like there's an accounting error somewhere.


Same effect is seen in browsers, it is not uncommon for Safari users to have 50-100% higher conversion than the rest. The device choice ends up capturing different demographics (i.e. people who buy iPhones have more money to spend).

Some first-hand reports:

http://blog.monumentvalleygame.com/blog/2015/1/15/monument-v...

http://www.winterworks.de/bloo-kid-2-the-definitive-revenue-...


Exactly. iPhone owners in general have higher disposable income relative to Android owners.

In fact, I was about to link to Monument Valley's numbers.


Apple's a margin business, not market share. They might not capture the entire pie but their portion of it is a lot more willing to spend.


I don't have stats to give you a firm answer, but if I were going to research this subject, I'd consider the fact that Android devices dominate developing countries. Advertisers in those countries probably can't afford large marketing budgets so their value per view may be significantly lower. Additionally, I'd argue that they probably have less free time and less data/slower speeds making them less likely to spend time grinding out Google searches like Americans, Brits, etc.

Again, not stating facts, just hypothesis.


> DC reports that Android made up 85% of the mobile OS market share in Q1-17, while iOS makes up 14.6%.

Yes, but Android has targetted mostly under-developed countries (sorry if this term seems offensive) and ordinary people (as opposed to iOS which targets rich people). Consequently, many Android users don't have decent devices for internet surfing and even if they had, they don't have permanent access to cheap fast internet.


Or don't use their phone to search/buy stuff. Anecdote: both my parents in their 70s have Android phones (because they were cheaper). They make calls, use Facebook and take photos. They have no idea what Google is or how to buy stuff.


Comscore measures by traffic, and they have iOS as 44.6% of mobile share.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/comscore-reports-feb...

That's not too far off 50 percent.



No, that's worldwide usage of operating systems, which includes desktops. Also, the article parent linked to was for US; your graphic includes third-world countries which are more likely to use Android, and very unlikely to spend money.


Lots of Android devices are sold.

The average time each user spends using their Android device(s), and those users' average affluence, is so incredibly low that they still only manage to make up 50% of Google's ad revenue on mobile.

iOS users are way more likely to be (relatively) wealthy, and they tend to use their devices more (if you've suffered through using anything other than a top-end Android device from the last couple of OS versions, you can guess what one of several reasons for this may be).


This is not true and easy to see with Internet usage. See how iOS is flat and Android keeps growing.

https://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/statcou...


You simply linked to a chart showing market share for mobile and desktop operating systems. None of that addresses the comment you were replying to, which speaks to behavior of those users.


That is an interesting question.

I've also read about other counter-intuitive revenue statistics. Apple's share of hardware revenues is way higher than its share of unit sales. And I've read that for many app makers, their revenues on iOS is higher than their revenues on Android, despite there being a larger number of Android units in the market.

If the latter claim is true, it could be that iOS users as a whole spend more money than Android users as a whole. That could filter through to Google in the form of iOS users being more inclined to click on higher-value ads.

Note: The above is speculative, I recall reading these claims on Daring Fireball, but that is not evidence.


Possibly due to far fewer ad blockers on iOS devices compared to desktop and Android. Also, the demographic of iOS users might be more likely to buy things. Just speculating.


Google has banned ad blockers from its App Store, so I would say iOS actually has much higher ad block usage.


No snark: I didnt realize that Google even banned apps from the Google Play Store. Is the ban on adblockers effective? I associate Android use with a free-for-all in terms of apps.


I've traveled to many developing countries where mobile data is not free except if you use it through Facebook. So if you're in the cheap Android user demographic you could almost certainly not use Google outside of what comes preinstalled.


This report shows phones. There are many ipad's, and i'd bet that purchasing (or clicking ad links) on ipad is much easier than on iphone.


Perhaps apple users are significantly more likely to click on ads?


iOS users are more affluent/more valuable to advertisers.


> "Court documents indicate that Google paid Apple $1B in 2014, and we estimate that total Google payments to Apple in FY 17 may approach $3B," Bernstein analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr. said. "Given that Google payments are nearly all profit for Apple, Google alone may account for 5% of Apple's total operating profits this year, and may account for 25% of total company OP growth over the last two years."

It's crazy considering even if Apple switched default search engines I'm sure a lot of users would switch back to Google.


Several months after Apple Maps became the default, something like 2/3rds of all users switched away from Google Maps. It's hard for me to believe, since the Apple Maps are more attractive but still less useful, but those are the numbers. I wouldn't count on a big return to Google Search.


Most people can’t tell the difference and go with the default. Even the people who have it installed are often redirected to Apple Maps by Siri and location links since they will always use it.


> Most people can’t tell the difference and go with the default.

Sadly, that's true. I'm a big maps' aficionado and as such I prefer the Hybrid View (satellite + roads) whenever I'm looking for an address or POI on GMaps. I've noticed that the majority of people I interact with (work colleagues, closed ones) only use GMaps on maps view, and as such they don't know how to make sense of where exactly their desired POI is, because when they zoom in on it they usually see only some colored background with some lines (i.e. roads) on the side. While when using the Hybrid view you can actually see the buildings themselves and other physical reference points (a forest, a football field, a parking lot etc), which makes it way more easier for you when you actually want to get to said POI.

As such, I fully believe that for these types of people switching Apple Maps in place of GMaps would make no difference at all, it's just switching a blob of colored backgrounds and lines with another blob of colored backgrounds and lines, while GMaps' preeminence, IMHO, is in its exceptional and unique satellite views quality.


This kills me. I uninstalled Apple maps and I have to manually copy locations into Google Maps from the mail app. Clicking location links prompts me to reinstall Apple Maps. Obviously a very intentional decision.


When I go to google.com with a browser other than Chrome, I see a pop-up "Switch to Chrome, a smarter browser. Google recommends using Chrome. Try it? [Yes]" Each company leverages what they have to try to push you further into their ecosystem (or as Bruce Schneier would say, further indentured to that feudal lord).


There's a pretty significant difference though. One is a message on a company's homepage, the other is a limitation baked into the OS.

At least on Android, clicking a location link will allow you to open it in any installed application that's registered to handle it.


I prefer usability (UX) over content, I used to switch to other maps when I had issues with data, but there hasn't been the need to in a very long time. Default is great especially if the UX is better. Google is ok, but Apple Maps UI is the best. I still use Waze from time to time though.


I find Apple Maps annoyingly slow in calculating routes and responding to my input. Google Maps worked alright for me, but I switched to Waze a couple months ago and can't go back anymore.

Waze is superior in so many ways. It knows (most) contruction sites/road closures (there are many where I live), Waze tells me about speed traps and accidents. Maybe not the best UI, but I definitely get the best results. And I enjoy submitting Road closures etc myself - hoping that I am helping others get where they want faster/without unexpected issues. It's not perfect, but it has definitely saved me a lot of time.


IMO, Waze is hit or miss, but fun. If you're doing a multi-car road trip the little messaging/beep features and stuff are fun. It overweights traffic and underweights stop signs and lights. It's great for inter-city travel, especially if you're a little familiar with the road.

But it's subject to flights of fancy similar to MapQuest circa 2002 where you find yourself taking some strange back road to save little or no travel time.


It does not give traffic enough weight for my commute. Waze is consistently too optimistic in travel time by 10-15 minutes (25% of my commute if I hit rush-hour).

With no traffic, it's spot on. I feel like it doesn't account for traffic that develops during the commute. Given the length of my travel, the roads may be clear when I start, but very congested before I finish.


I’m suprised that info isn't built into Google Maps since Google owns Waze.


As far as I know, they are using some of the Waze data like current traffic situation to calculate travel time - my guess is that they want to keep Google Maps "uncluttered", because in comparison Waze appears pretty cluttered.


On a road trip I took in May, Waze couldn't seem to stay connected on either of two iPhones. Google Maps had no such issues. I'm not sure why that would be allowed to happen, given that Google owns Waze anyway.


Funny you mention that - this has happened a handful of times lately and I am not sure why. The network is completely lost and I have to quit and reopen the app on my iPhone for it to work again. I assumed it was due to my carriers (o2 germany) general unreliability..


Waze is much more of a CPU and bandwidth hog, it's quite possible your phone is just overheating and throttling especially if it is also charging st the same time and getting hit by sunlight.


Ha! Thanks, quite likely as i notice it overheating frequently when navigating and never connected it to waze. Will keep an eye on it and compare to Google Maps. Would be reason enough for me to switch backt ..


Depends where you live. In London, Google Maps makes tube stations obvious with a big London Underground logo. Apple Maps gives them a tiny purple icon that gets lost in the noise.


I have an awful time over the compass on Google Maps and Apple Maps on both my iPhone. I seriously don't know why. It is so adept at pointing in the exact opposite direction that I do not trust the compass anymore.


Is this just a Maps thing, or does the Compass app also give incorrect results?


It's difficult for me to test the Compass but it is very apparent on both Apple and Google maps.


There's a built-in Compass app that you could use…


A lot of people just know Google Maps as "Maps" anyway and don't understand that it's not all the same.


It's possible that they liked Apple Maps better. I finally fired Google Maps and switched over to Apple Maps for turn-by-turn directions. Google Maps used to be great, and then they seemed to tell me to turn immediately when I had to turn without much forewarning. It would also say things like "in 500 feet, turn right." I have no idea how far away 500 ft is. I think Apple Maps does more of "at the next street, turn right." If I remember correctly, Google Maps has a tendency of telling me the next turn without indicating how far away it is. "At McFarlane St, turn right" as opposed to "In 1.3 mi, turn right on McFarlane St." So far, I've made a lot fewer wrong turns (or lack of turns) with Apple Maps.

Also, Google Maps has become much less good for driving, since you frequently have to zoom in quite far to see a street name. I don't know if Apple Maps is better, but I know that Google Maps used to show a lot more street names. It would be nice to have a choice about whether I see businesses and landmarks or street names, rather than making it for me.


Just yesterday I gave Apple Maps another try for turn-by turn and the UX is far superior to Google Maps. Apple Maps changes perspective dynamically depending on how far away the turn is, when it is far you get an angled view that allows you to see the upcoming roads. As you approach a turn the view switches to a top-down view that makes it easier to see the layout of the intersection. When you arrive at your destination Apple also does a better job indicating which side of the street the address is on.

Google still wins on the lane awareness but that's their only advantage.

It absolutely staggers me that nobody seems to bother making sure street names are actually visible on the map. I don't know how anyone that ships navigation software without visible street names sleeps at night.


> It absolutely staggers me that nobody seems to bother making sure street names are actually visible on the map.

That's the worst thing with Google Maps for me. It drives me mad when I'm trying to navigate on foot. I never trust the compass in my phone, so figuring out my direction by looking at street names is actually pretty important. (I prefer doing that anyway, because that's just how people use maps). It's to the point where if a street actually doesn't have a name, I'll still spend a minute trying to trick Google Maps into showing one because there's no way to tell.

Does Apple do a better job with it?


I didn't notice yesterday, I have been trained when using turn-by-turn to not look for street names anymore and just estimate from the highlighted route. Apple Maps appears to do a better job than Google but its still not what I would call good.


    >>Google still wins on the lane awareness but that's their only advantage.
Apparently Apple Maps is getting this in iOS11.


Google Maps has become much less good for driving, since you frequently have to zoom in quite far to see a street name. I don't know if Apple Maps is better

In the past I've preferred listening to Google Maps while driving, rather than listening to Apple Maps.

I just bought a car that supports Apple Carplay. My first impression is it's pretty damn good. A nice chunk of the display is dedicated to the distance to the next turn, the name of the street to turn onto, an arrow showing the direction of the turn, etc.

Presumably "Android Carplay" or whatever Google calls it is also good. The point is that a smartphone integrated with a display screen on the dash produces a much nicer driving experience than a smartphone by iteslf.

Edit: BTW this only works well if you've entered a destination. The Carplay display of Apple Maps is total crap in terms of street names etc if just randomly driving around. Maybe that's your complaint with Google? You mean while driving around rather than navigating to a specific destination?

Perhaps I just haven't figured out how to make Apple Maps display better without entering a destination.


I've found Apple Maps to be absolutely awful. I like the Google UI much better, and I find its navigation, ease of use, and layout to be far superior. I would really love to make it my default.


I don't think I've ever had an issue with Apple Maps interface. It's fairly gorgeous. It's the actual, well, maps that turned me off of it after a few weeks.


In the UK Apple Maps doesn't tell you which lane you should be in before turning. Google Maps does, which makes a huge difference when driving.


When driving I usually use Waze, which doesn't have lane assist and prior to this I used to use a paid version of Tom Tom which did. Don't think it makes a huge difference to me either way.


Having just traveled through the Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London, I can say with confidence that I would have appreciated lane guidance greatly for the 7 million roundabouts I went through.

I didn't know google maps did this or I would have used it. I was using Waze instead, as it's my default.


The website version of google maps is pretty much unusable on an iPhone, I briefly installed the mobile version at some point, but I felt like it was less well integrated overall, so I uninstalled it.


Apple Maps is much better than it once was. They had alot of location inaccuracies, and they weight some road features differently than Google Maps. Most of the location stuff is fixed.

I made a conscious effort to use Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze and found Apple & Google to be equivalent for routing. Sometimes the routes varied, but they were pretty solid. Waze was either super-useful time saver or a complete waste of time.


It still has some pretty asinine behavior in search. Every time I've used it, the search suggestions will often pick something on the far side of the country or a different country altogether. It did this as recently as July for me; the last time I tried it.

I was flabbergasted when it suggested a bed and breakfast in Cape Town, South Africa, instead of the one 3 miles away by the same name. (I'm in the US)


My anecdotal contribution. This past spring my daughter's soccer team moved up in competition level. Instead of playing at the same field each week they now had to travel to different fields around the county each weekend. After the first couple of weeks one group of kids had gotten to each game the 30 minutes prior they were suppose to and a different group of kids arrived just in time with the parents complaining about traffic being worse than expected. After discussion on the sideline we identified that the latter group was using Apple Maps and the former Google Maps. Each time Apple Maps had directed the parents a way that would appear to be faster based upon distance and speed limits but in reality were slower because the roads in question regularly have slower traffic than the posted speed. Google Maps avoided these choke points which tells me that for some areas at least Google still has better information available or utilizes the available information better to calculate routes. The Apple Maps parents switched to using Google Maps.


I believe Google Maps uses Waze's traffic data now, so crowdsourcing keeps it very up-to-date.


disclaimer: I work on google maps

> Several months after Apple Maps became the default, something like 2/3rds of all users switched away from Google Maps.

When Apple Maps 'became the default', what actually happened was it outright replaced the Google-powered Maps app entirely, and there was no replacement Google-written Maps app _for_ several months. People didn't 'switch away', they were switched, you could not stay on google maps if you wanted to.

Per your numbers, 1/3rd of a platform switching back (despite having to wait months and install a new app to do so) sounds like a pretty big return to me. But I don't think there's a lot we can infer about users' propensity to set search engine defaults vs propensity to install/use apps.


Yeah totally agree. And Apple Maps was more noticeably flawed than Bing or another search competitor would be. Maps would send you to the wrong addresses over and over (especially internationally) while supposedly users may actually prefer Bing results when given both search results without branding.


I was in Costa Rica when they kicked google maps off the phone and the town I was in, which was reasonably well mapped on google became an unlabeled road on apple maps. I was pretty pissed about it and switched back as soon as google released a new maps app.


People switched to Google Maps because Apple Maps was absolutely awful and completely unusable.

Even today (the actually happened this morning), I type an address two blocks away and I'm shown an address in Portugal. I live in Argentina. Why it assumed I was looking for a street across the Atlantic Ocean rather than one within walking distance is beyond me (also, the street name did not match).

This also happens if I tap on a contact's address -- even though the contacts app shows the minimap with the right location.


Only because it's my only choice as an Apple Watch owner. Same goes for the default Music app.

If you want the convenience of Apple Watch, Siri, or CarPlay, you are stuck using Apple Maps. It's a shame, because I love my Apple Watch for two main reasons: being able to control music and navigation in the car. My 2015 GTI was one year prior to VW's introduction of CarPlay, and this damn watch gets me about 80% of the way there without a $2k retrofit.

If I know where I'm going before I get in my car, it's Google Maps for me. More POIs, fewer outdated addresses or incorrect business hours, and better traffic negotiation.


Even if they only missed a third of users, it would easily still be worth the $3B to Google.


Apple Maps was never as bad as the media hype suggested at the time. It wouldn't surprise me if 2/3rds of users never encountered any major problems. While it was worse than Google Maps it was still as good or better than most automaker nav and portable units people were accustomed to using.


> Apple Maps was never as bad as the media hype suggested at the time.

I used it briefly at the time and it was worse than the media hype suggested, in the worst case routing me back and forth across most of the North-South axis of California for a cross-town trip.

> While it was worse than Google Maps it was still as good or better than most automaker nav and portable units people were accustomed to using.

Even with a map database that is now a decade out of date, my Prius's onboard nav has never given me the kind of problems Apple Maps did in my brief period of using it, and its had far more opportunity.


I'm one of those people. For me it's about privacy, and that Apple Maps is just good enough. In my daily use I found that Google and Apple both screwed me up in the same ways (not nothing a road was closed, etc...). Google Maps is probably better overall, but I'm just speaking from my experience.


Seems to me that Google has a better privacy record than Apple. Both companies get all sorts of data about their users, but Apple has had some serious data breaches.


Do you have any examples of these? Were they a case of Apple as a whole getting breached (e.g., all hashed iCloud passwords) or individual accounts?

I use Apple services for quite a few things, so whenever I hear about a data breach I evaluate how I use the service and how I can guard against similar breaches that might affect my data.

EDIT: I should point out that this applies to other services that I use as well. This is something everyone who relies on a 3rd party service should keep an eye on as a matter of course.


I don't remember ever hearing of an Apple data breach. Certainly some of the celebrity photo hacks were initially attributed to a general iCloud security problem, but were later found to be typical password problems.


What are you talking about?

Even if Apple had data breaches that it was responsible for (you do know that the celebrity titty-shot photos were all social-engineered/re-used passwords right? None were actually iCloud breaches), that isn't about privacy, that's about security.

Google literally builds profiles about it's products (the eyeballs looking at *.google.com) to better place ads in front of said eyeballs, because that's how they make 90% of their money.

Apple does everything it can to anonymise what data it does need to see: there's no sign-in for maps, it reset's it's random identifier periodically, and each route is split into multiple segments.


It's crazy considering even if Apple switched default search engines I'm sure a lot of users would switch back to Google.

You are sure...but Google is placing a $3,000,000,000 bet against your word. Maybe they're losing money the deal to moat their castle, but who knows.

As a side note: If the government worked correctly, Google would not have been allowed to buy market share, monopoly and all.


I suspect Google wants to keep it away from MS more than anything. With Bing down to 2.5% market share they do not have the revs to invest. That is why Bing is so bad compared to Google on mobile.

http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share Search engine market share Worldwide | StatCounter Global Stats


> As a side note: If the government worked correctly, Google would not have been allowed to buy market share, monopoly and all.

Do you also think government should prevent Google from paying Mozilla to be the default search engine in Firefox?


> Do you also think government should prevent Google from paying Mozilla to be the default search engine in Firefox?

Yes I do. And for the same reason I'd oppose Verizon or ATT buying everyone else.


Would they though? I would and perhaps many on HN, though HN demographic isn't the norm.


Google undoubtedly has some metrics on this which is why they do it. Other firms are the same way, right? For example, Yahoo and Firefox.


Yes, I'm sure Google has analyzed this. I'm just saying it's fairly surprising considering that $3 billion hinges entirely on the assumption that people won't change the default. Apparently there are approximately 700 million active iPhones in the world [1], so Google is willing to bet $4 per user on that assumption. I'm not saying it's a bad assumption.

[1] http://www.siliconbeat.com/2017/03/06/many-iphones-use-analy...


Even if you're right in assuming that a lot of users would switch back, I'd guess that the type of user Google really wants to avoid losing -- one who clicks on a lot of ads -- is the same type of user who never changes default settings.


Would they though?

It would be interesting to find out how many users switched back to Google after Yahoo paid Firefox to switch the default for new installs.

Apple would probably look at how much they could get from Bing for the privilege before building their own search engine.


> It would be interesting to find out how many users switched back to Google after Yahoo paid Firefox to switch the default for new installs.

Many, but the net effect was still positive for Yahoo.

http://searchengineland.com/yahoos-firefox-deal-tells-us-pai...


Cool, so from Google's perspective this is probably an absolute best case scenario: Firefox users tend to be more savvy than iOS users, and Yahoo still claimed at least 25% of users.

So, 3bn is peanuts for 25% of mobile ad revenue, which for google is 50bn/yr.

Apple would probably have to raise the price several times over before Google starts questioning this relationship.


Remember the browser ballot screen? I think at some point we'll see something similar for search engines.


I mean, I definitely would, but whoever they switched to (probably Bing) would just have to recognize that the request came from an iPhone and style it to look minimally different from what people are used to seeing. I think a lot of people wouldn't notice or care.


for a rough assessment of this, we might compare it to the situation with Apple maps.

In 2015, it was reported that "Apple ... receives 5 billion requests per week for its mapping services and that Apple Maps is used 3.5 times more frequently than ... Google Maps."

http://fortune.com/2015/06/16/apple-google-maps-ios/

and iOS users are the wealthy layer of the mobile marketplace. they're the cream. google doesn't want to lose them.


It's in Google's best interest to keep the price high... it raises the price for any potential competitor who might try to outbid them.

Google knows how much money it makes through iPhone... a potential competitor could only guess how much money could be made by being the new default search engine (especially since the number of people who would be loyal to Google and switch away from the new default is a big unknown).

It's interesting to see exactly how valuable it is (or how valuable people think it is) to be the market leader.

If Google lost the iPhone default position, their customers (i.e. advertisers) would see them differently.


It's also a disincentive for Apple to make their own search engine.


This really doesn't seem like something Apple would do. It's not in their DNA, would be very tough to do while keeping their pro-privacy stance, and isn't how they like to make money. I'd be very disappointed if they went down this road.


I doubt that creating a new competitive search engine is quite as hard as Google would like us to believe. Whether it's something Apple would do, I don't have an opinion; in general I don't pay much attention to Apple.

They could conceivably setup a search engine as a pro-privacy move by deliberately not collecting/monetizing user's search data, and perhaps not even running ads at all if they can figure out some other way to pay for it or justify the expense. However, I agree with you that it feels wrong. I think I'd feel better about a new search engine if it was run by a less profit-driven institution, like the Internet Archive.

Maybe the best course of action if Apple wanted a Google alternative to exist is to develop some of the technology in-house and then give a giant grant to some well-respected pro-privacy organization to actually run the thing.


> I doubt that creating a new competitive search engine is quite as hard as Google would like us to believe.

MS, Yahoo and many others would disagree.


They have to be doing it. They can't rely on another company for something so important. Just as Samsung is also doing it, and doing maps, and doing their own OS.

It is stupid to become reliant on Google. Even though their solution would not be as good, they need to have something in case Google cuts them off.


Bing? You don't have to own every single piece of the tech landscape to stay in business.


> Google knows how much money it makes through iPhone

Doesn't always even matter. It's branding and advertising for google. Same type of thing as a company spending $5m on Superbowl ads. Idea isn't to ring up sales (or in the case of google clicks). Goodyear has the blimp nobody is buying tires directly my point being there is a value to the indirect advertising and marketing.


Apple is developing its search engine. If you use iOS search you might notice there are results that are not either Bing or maps results. Map on its own eats lots of Google's search share because people search on their iPhones for locations and businesses a lot.


With iOS 11 you can type your Questions to Siri for results, replacing some of your Searches. I remember vaguely that 80% of all searches are some specific type that Apple could replicate in Siri "Should they choose to".

I think the End Game will be Apple providing very good, high quality curated Search Results for its Users, Eating up to 40% of Google's Mobile revenue. ( 80% of searches and 50% of Mobile Revenue coming from iPhone ).

That is, of course assuming Apple could do Searches or Services, judging from the few years of Apple Map, Apple Music, iCloud etc. This segment is simply not in their DNA.

Notes: Some may argue Apple's Services Revenue continues to increase, but if you look at the break down majority of it are from App Store, and majority of App Store Revenue are from Gaming, which ironically is a category Apple doesn't care much.


Pretty baffling that a few lines of code for a default setting could be worth the GDP of a country...


You're referring to cost, not value. The price charged here is for the value of the effect, not for the cost of changing the few lines of code.


Yes, this is an excellent example which further debunks the labor theory of value.


Given Apple's recent public push on privacy, I keep expecting DDG to become the new 'default' search engine in Safari.


I think they'd be interested if the results were half as good as Googles. As an experiment the last 6 months or so I've been using DDG at work and Google at home. The difference in quality is very noticeable—Google still is the best search engine.


As a counter anecdote, I've been using DDG for the last three years, at least. I really haven't missed Google at all for search. The only Google thing I can't find a replacement for is Maps.


I've been using Here Maps (from Nokia) pretty happily for years. It's worth checking out (oh, even though it's a Nokia thing, there's an iOS app).


I've been using DDG for trivial queries, I tried using it for more complex ones but the results were very poor. Since DDG is my default all I have to do is add a g! at the end to get Google results.


Amusingly I do somewhat the opposite. DDG is fine for mobile searches, but I require better results for work lookups.

I use DDG for home laptop, but often use g! prefix for things like flight data or image searches.


Amazing. I've had the exact opposite results for years. The only place I've ever seen DDG fails is local results (eg: searching for a nearby restaurant). Then again, I'd expect it to, given they don't know where I am.


Use startpage.com. I've tried DDG a few times over the last years. The results where reasonable when it was still using Google as a backend. Since it's switched to something else (Bing?) it's horrible. startpage.com gives me anonymized results from google.


Do you use the bang system in DDG? I think that more than makes up the difference.


If you have to remember to use arbitrary bangs to get specific results then DDG has already failed as a search engine. Coding a query yourself is obviously the most powerful way to search documents, but the key to useful software is to do the hard work for you.


Bangs dont 'get specific results' - they're shortcuts to let you do site-specific 'searches', on that site.

So, if I want to check the versions of haproxy in the various Debian suites, then `!dpkg haproxy` would take me to https://packages.debian.org/search?keywords=haproxy.

If I just want general results about HAproxy, that isn't what a bang is for.


I do, but doing !g or !fl seems to defeat the purpose.


It's hard to have personalized search results (search bubble) while having a sense of privacy.


> Google still is the best search engine

Define "best"? By what metric?

Given that we know Google use your own search history to influence current search result rankings, there is a bubble effect. I don't consider that to be a good thing. Their privacy policy and general business model (give away services for 'free' and data-mine the living bejesus out of user content to make creepy stalker-level profiles of them, for the purposes of showing adverts) are very much at odds with what I want from a search engine, or any business really.

I've yet to see anyone do a comparison of Google with browser settings such that they can't use previous search history to influence results, vs other search engines which don't rely on history for relevance anyway.

For me, DDG is good enough that I use it all the time on all my devices. I use !bangs, but the only google-related Bang I've used at all recently is !tr (Google Translate).


Apple is indirectly involved in the ad business via Google. They sell the default search engine spot to the highest bidder, even though they know its not performing private searches. They only tout privacy if it sells more phones.

Its business.


I keep WISHING DDG to become the new 'default' search engine in Safari.


Do you really think they care?


Lol.


"Sacconaghi said that Google might decide to back away from paying Apple any licensing fees if it feels confident enough that its search engine is so popular Apple won't include any other option by default."

Wasn't there a period just a few years ago when Apple switched to Bing platform wide? Or am I mistaken?


Siri currently defaults to Bing search, and that is not a setting that can be changed.

If you want google you have to explicitly tell Siri to search using Google.


Well, I'm dealing with a bootloop-ed Nexus 5X, with no help from Google nor its manufacturer, LG.

My previous Android phone, a 2013 Moto X bought while Google owned the cell phone part of Motorola and was promising users (finally) timely, consistent updates, was largely abandoned with respect to updates within a year. This also involved Verizon, for me, who was promising... finally, timely and continuing updates, for this now Google phone -- no, really, believe us, despite our history.

So... I guess Google better be paying someone to maintain their presence in mobile.

Maybe they should have paid me and all their other Android users a little better attention. Because I'm seriously considering an iPhone as a replacement for my 5X brick.


I saw an article with a proposed fix for this the other day. I have no idea how correct it is, but it's probably worth trying if your phone is already a brick. https://www.xda-developers.com/nexus-5x-bootloop-fix-boot-ph...


Thank you. I started briefly looking into possible remedies, but I haven't gotten too far, yet. Lots of "maybes", it seems; and the likely need to pursue them in the "right" order so as not to have one rule out another.

All from third parties. I haven't seen any useful, official response, yet -- except for some warranty replacements supposedly for units still under warranty. (But then, bye-bye data...)

I'll have a look at your link, now. Appreciate it!

P.S. "Heat"... I've rather pampered my 5X, but I did -- with all the intention of taking it in with me to the restaurant -- leave it in my car's dashboard compartment for an half hour to an hour, where I had atypically placed it while driving because the passenger seat was full of stuff. That compartment's door closed itself while driving due to shaking and gravity, and I forgot.

It was cloudy when I went in, but sunnier when I came out, and the phone had gotten pretty warm while still running. Not melty warm, and it was idling during that time. My friends treat their phones far worse.

It seemed to be fine, when I came out. But now that I think about it, a few days later, I experienced the bootloop.

Then again, the phone had spontaneously restarted 2 or 3 times in the past few months, while I was using it. On those occasions, though, it promptly and successfully rebooted.

The phone's only about 1.3 years old. I've heard some people have had success claiming a replacement, even out of the official warranty. Seems to be a matter of chance or/and reaching the right person.


I thought the number one search term for all search engines is "google"..


Reminds me of a time I watched an admin assistant at my work perform a search.

1. Open IE 6 (although this was only a few years ago, my org was slow to upgrade).

2. Use some weird in browser search tool and enters "Google"

3. This brings up a Bing search results for "Google"

4. Clicks on the first result, which is for the homepage of Google.com

5. Enters original search term in Google.com

It's amazing what you can see when you watch users work.


My mother called me crying once, because some software she installed changed her homepage from google. She was crying because "Google was gone" and she couldn't "search for www dot bankofamerica dot com"


I've co-founded a startup and we are blown away with what users come up with. You think you've captured every corner case... but then someone new comes along.

For example, we have a small CTA with email and location. I'm not sure one person has entered both fields correctly.


Mmm... I doubt they would set Bing or Yahoo as the default search engine and alienate all their users.

Every time I use those SE, I realize how good Google is.


I wonder how much Yahoo pays oracle to put their goddamn awful malware on chrome whenever i update java.


When advertising companies start paying large sums of money to product companies, you know that there is something wrong with the economy...

Money should flow from product companies to advertising companies; there is something sinister about money moving in the opposite direction.


Money flows from product companies to ad companies to owners of ad space, such as radio, website, tv, movies, billboards, sports teams, apps, etc.


Always has been the case. Ever heard of Lamar? They are one of the largest ad products companies which almost exclusively provides physical ad space.

[1]http://www.lamar.com/


There's nothing sinister here. Just large margins that can accomodate silly spending. But the margins are driven by justly earned efficiencies.


Are there other examples of this happening, or is it just an isolated thing with Google?


At one point, a lot of mobile game companies (which make money from advertising) bought up advertising space to advertise themselves - This is not as bad though because money flows from advertising to advertising but it's still weird.


Not necessarily; it's just arbitrage. If they can get cheap advertising and it converts well, then selling more expensive ads would make sense.


It has to look tempting to Apple to get into the search engine business. They already have Siri, which is similar to the front end of a search engine.


Would MSFT or Yahoo really pay more though?


Yahoo is currently being sold for spare parts, and they're effectively out of the search business. Their search is mostly powered by Bing anyway.

It would be a huge propaganda and traffic coup for MSFT to be the default search engine on iPhone. MSFT won't pay /more/ than Google (if they were currently willing to do so, they would already by the default), but if Google was to not pay, MSFT would definitely jump in and pay Apple something, which is better than nothing.


Do you know what will happen to the Yahoo-Mozilla deal?


It might already be priced just above what competitors are perceived to be willing to pay.

For all we know, its actual value to Google is much higher than what they're paying, but with nobody else able or willing to pay what it's actually worth, they're able to pay much less.

Another factor worth considering is that Apple's been pushing pretty strong for user privacy across the platform. It's possible they're leveraging that to extract more from Google, when other providers (like DuckDuckGo) might pay less, but be willing to offer better privacy protections.


If Google stopped paying, Apple could ask users during setup which search engine they want to use, instead of using Google by default.

Right now you can choose in the settings app between Google, Bing, Yahoo and Duck Duck Go, but only a small percentage of people change the setting.

If the setting was more prominent, and Google wasn’t the preselected first option, Google would lose a lot of market share on iOS.


I really doubt that this is true. Google didn't just accidentally become the search engine of choice for the internet. People chose to use it.


End users just don't always notice or care. Most search engines are reasonably good at returning results for basic queries. As long is it's "good enough" most people don't even notice they have a choice and make the switch. Sure, you and I do, but as another poster said the HN demographic isn't the norm here.


Not true in Mobile. Bing is not very good in comparison to Google. Then with MS down to 6.5% share in the US for all devices it will just get worse.

http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/uni...


I agree people choose Google, but at this point I expect I could switch search engines on a 100 people's phones, and you'd end up with a few categories:

1. People who don't even notice the change 2. People who notice, but are too lazy or ignorant to change it 3. People who notice, put off changing it, and leave it 4. People who notice, but consider searching results a commodity product at this point and don't care 5. People who notice, have a real preference AND actually change it back

Obviously I'm too lazy to write all of the possibilities, but I find the differences in search engines to be less and less noticeable at this point. Of course, I have no actual expertise in search engines beyond personal experience so this is just me typing on the internet.


Google was 10X better than alternatives when it was created and for a long time thereafter, but it's definitely not 10X better than Bing now. Google is not as dominant in other markets as the US.


Actually Google is way more dominant outside of the US than in it, particularly in Europe (>90 % market share), as this 2015 Atlantic article about anti trust measures tells us about:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/04/europ...

In my native Sweden, using anything other than Google is pretty much unheard of.

I believe the average American internet user is ahead of the curve in this respect, using Bing and other search engines which are probably as good for most queries as Google is.


The thing is that Google is quite a bit better than Bing when it comes to localized search results outside of the US.

I try to stay away from Google and use DDG but if I search for anything local outside, Google's results are much better than the competition


You're right, I got the direction confused. Though Russia has low Google usage, probably due to Yandex. China also has very little usage, but I assume that it's more than just Baidu.


And Japan has Yahoo! Japan (28% market share and stable)


It's interesting that your respect toward google doesn't extend to their decision to pay apple. I suspect google, being as good as they are with data, wouldn't pay apple if it didn't make sense.


You're right in that Google didn't just accidentally become the "search engine of choice for the Internet", but wrong in that "people chose to use it".

Google started with paying other software companies to bundle Google Toolbar in with their software, which would change your default search to Google. (This behavior was later changed to Google Chrome, which you still get with a dozen other programs today.) This is actually a big part of Sundar Pichai's claim to fame at Google, and likely chiefly why he is CEO today: He's responsible for Google being the default place for search.

As noted in this article, Google has been paying to be default on the iPhone for years, and Google used to be the highest bidder for Firefox's default search spot as well (and still is in several other countries besides the US).

People use the default, and Google invested an incredible amount of money in ensuring they were the default everywhere. Google has been the default in both Chrome and Firefox for many years, and used the Toolbar to change people's default in IE, and has also been the default on both iOS and Android mobile phones. And that is why Google has the market share it does today.


Google is the dominate search because it is just a lot better. That was true over Altavista and true today. Saying anything otherwise is ridiculous.

Heck MS owns PC and down to tiny share with Bing. Look at browsers in 2016 we had 300 million leave and mostly go to Google.

http://www.businessinsider.com/300-million-users-ditched-mic... Over 300 million users ditched Microsoft's browsers in 2016 ...


Is there any reason to believe that Apple would even have this setting, if Google stopped paying them billions? After all, there's no setting to use a different browser, maps app, etc., by default.


Siri definitely shows bing results. I'm not sure Microsoft is paying for that


Does Apple realistically have any other options? If not, why is Google paying them?


The question is does Google have any other options? No.

Apple could use many alternatives (DDG, Startpage) or make their own. Google is lucky they get to pay a few billion instead of contending with Apple Search or Apple switching to alternatives.


There aren't as many alternatives as you think. DDG is Bing and Startpage is Google.

There are only two [general purpose, global] search engines in the world right now: Google and Bing.

And of the two Google is clearly superior. I suspect most people would use it even if Bing was the default.


DuckDuckGo standard results are based on Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex[0] combined, in my experience most of my results seem to come through Yandex.

[0]: https://duck.co/help/results/sources.


>DDG is Bing

That contradicts what I find on Wikipedia.

DuckDuckGo's results are a compilation of "over 400" sources, including Yahoo! Search BOSS; Wikipedia; Wolfram Alpha; Bing; its own Web crawler (the DuckDuckBot); and others. It also uses data from crowdsourced sites, including Wikipedia, to populate "Zero-click Info" boxes – grey boxes above the results that display topic summaries and related topics.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duck_Duck_Go


That paragraph is out of date, for example Yahoo! Search BOSS was discontinued a year and a half ago. The DuckDuckBot is hardly seen.

I suspect that they initially attempted to do this, but as far as I know these days it's basically Bing. Maybe with a small amount of other sources mixed in.


Startpage is Google without user targeting. Apple switching to SP (or similar) would still return Google search results but severely hurt Google if SP really does as they say.

I'd imagine legal ramifications for Apple but I do think Apple has options that keep Google paying billions.


Apple already defaults to Bing when using Siri.


Bing is always an option.


Bing or DuckDuckGo

either way, Apple removing Google Search will really hurt Google


serious question: what if Apple bought (something like) DuckDuckGo and invested in it? could that form a good enough replacement?


This is always a possibility. After all if they can buy in Siri or build their own mapping service, why not search? The question is why do that, especially if doing so will cost you not just the price of the service but also £3bn in recurring revenue?

To be compelling, doing so would either have to earn them the cost of the service plus £3bn a year, or it would have to mitigate a strategic risk. With maps, Google had turn by turn directions on Android but wouldn't add it on iOS. The only way for Apple to get that feature was to do it themselves. But there are no such risks with Search and there is always Bing.


Apple does already provide a limited search engine, of course. It's the thing that returns "Suggested Website" when you type in the omnibar, and very often it finds what you're looking for without the need to go to Google (or DDG, or Bing). For one random query I just tried, it came up with a better result than DDG's #1 or #2, which is sad but not too surprising.


They won't do that. The current arrangement with Google is quite good for both parties. It's not smart to start another battle with Google unless there is some to gain. 3 billion in profits is quite good. It's hard to imagine how Apple can make that much profit from their own search engine.


7 more years until Facebook thinks they will be ready to compete.

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-will-challenge-googl...


DuckDuckGo is just Bing with a filter. It's not a search engine in and of itself, so there's nothing much there for Apple to buy.


Their own site specifically says they use Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex, plus literally hundreds of other specific sources of data.

https://duck.co/help/results/sources


Are you sure of that? I get considerably different results for queries on Bing vs DDG.


I've just done a search for "fuengirola" which is a popular tourist destination for people from the UK. Both on bing and duckduckgo. I have the exact same results from both searches.

http://imgur.com/P1akOab


Apple could use anonymized browsing and searching data from Safari to launch it's own search engine if Google pulls its current deal.


most users would switch it to google if apple switched it to bing or something else meaning Google is paying them for just the ease of not having the risk of not being default.


I don't think most users would switch. Don't forget how many users Internet Explorer has since it comes preinstalled. And that's after a monopoly suit to make it easier to choose a competitor.

Most people are not techies and are lazy. Sure maybe their kids will switch it or their friend will tell them to do so, but MANY devices will stick with the default.


my mom doesn't know how to use a computer, turn it on, navigate a GUI, but she knows what the google logo looks like and if presented with something else she'd chime in to have me or a coworker switch it for sure. So i disagree.


What else is Apple going to use Bing?




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