December 6, 2023

A bombshell report from Bloomberg over the weekend boldly declared that “Apple has the wherewithal to launch its personal search alternative for Google.” And, as is usually the case within the Apple blogosphere, headlines sprouted up claiming that an Apple search engine could be proper over the horizon. All of the whereas, the Bloomberg report features a blurb noting that the chance of Apple making an attempt to tackle Google is an extended shot. Effectively, that’s a bit too beneficiant, for my part. Fact be instructed, I believe it’s truthful to say that Apple making an attempt to go head-to-head with Google in search is extra of a no-shot than an extended shot.

Let’s be clear – Google shortly turned and has remained the dominant search engine as a result of it’s a superior product. Regardless of advances and ongoing challenges from Bing and DuckDuckGo, and even though Google retains shoving extra advertisements down our throats, the straightforward actuality is that Google’s search engine stays finest at school. Google’s search engine prowess is the results of a long time of expertise, iteration, experimentation, and ongoing refinement. The concept Apple can in some way ship one thing that may compete with Google is laughable, particularly as a result of Apple’s present search capabilities are removed from encouraging.

Apple continues to be making an attempt to nail search on a smaller scale

Whereas search on the iPhone has gotten higher in recent times, it nonetheless leaves loads to be desired. Oftentimes, counting on iOS to discover a particular file or doc is an train in frustration. Whether or not it’s a file in iCloud or a phrase in Notes I’m on the lookout for, usually typing within the actual filename or search string yields nothing of use. Thus far, a thread on the Apple subreddit is stuffed with comical examples relating to the iPhone’s subpar search capabilities. I personally stopped utilizing Mail’s built-in search completely because it by no means works because it ought to

One touch upon Reddit reads:

Apple doesn’t even have what it wants to search out an app in Highlight or a music in Music. You wouldn’t be capable of use an Apple search engine to search out the proper spelling of a phrase since you would get no outcomes in case you had been even one letter off. If you did get outcomes, they’d typically be fully unrelated to what you really looked for as a result of that’s what Siri does.

Why would anybody need to use this anyway? There are already loads of completely acceptable choices for a search engine. I haven’t used Google for search in 6 years or so. It’s easy to modify from that with none assist from Apple. Who needs each single product and repair of their life to be owned and managed by a single company? Don’t folks like selection?

Apple solely enters a market when it could possibly provide one thing completely different

On the similar time, there’s no denying that Apple has unimaginable engineers engaged on search. And it clearly goes with out saying that Apple has an infinite quantity of assets to pour into all of its search-based initiatives. That mentioned, Apple has made it clear that it’ll solely enter a model new market when its personal product can ship an improved person expertise.

As Apple government Greg Joswiak mentioned a few years in the past: “If you happen to can’t enter the market and try to be the most effective in it, don’t enter it. You want that differentiation. At Apple, if we are able to’t be the most effective then we aren’t occupied with it.”

Put in a different way, why would Apple enter the search market to ship a product that, in a best-case state of affairs, is pretty much as good as Google? Why would Apple say goodbye to its profitable search engine take care of Google?

Even in a hypothetical state of affairs the place Apple can not settle for cash for search engine placement, it nonetheless is smart, from a person perspective, to maintain Google because the default just because it’s the most effective. Rolling out a search engine — particularly given Apple’s obsession with person privateness — doesn’t make a lot financial or sensible sense. And to the difficulty of privateness, is Apple actually going to roll out a privacy-oriented search engine? If that’s the case, that may be extra like one other iteration of DuckDuckGo versus a full-fledged Google competitor. DuckDuckGo is nice, however there’s no denying that Google continues to be the undisputed behemoth of search.

An Apple search engine is intriguing however not reasonable

The Bloomberg article concludes:

In the long term, Google could also be the best choice till Apple thinks it has a greater mousetrap. Apple already designs its personal chips, operates an App Retailer, sells music on-line, provides video and gaming companies, and has an in-house maps app that competes with Google.

The one factor lacking is a full-blown Apple search engine. And whereas one gained’t be launched anytime quickly, it could be nearer than you suppose.

A full-blown search engine doesn’t make a lot sense, particularly as a result of Apple has proven it doesn’t have a honest curiosity in making ad-based income a critical a part of its enterprise mannequin. In addition to, what kind of differentiated person expertise would Apple be capable of provide? Proper now, Google is already doing all the heavy lifting to offer Android and iOS customers alike with a best-in-class service. What’s the rationale for Apple investing in one thing that may probably be subpar by comparability?