09 November 2020
Apple is known for having as much control as possible over the products it makes. We have seen it keep a close eye on the iPhone and iPad's hardware as well as software experience. The search engine is one of the aspects where it has to rely on Google and it does get paid handsomely in return. But this could change very soon as the deal between the two tech giants is currently under scrutiny over anti-competitive grounds.
As per a new Financial Times report, Apple has increased its efforts to create its own search engine as an alternative to Google. It seems like it wants to avoid the situation where the authorities might not approve of the deal extension. Google is said to be paying it anywhere between $8 billion and $12 billion per year to be the default search engine on Apple devices. It accounts for about 20% of the total revenue that Apple makes from services which is a significant portion.
It is unknown whether Apple will create a fully-fledged search engine like Google or it will just be a more powerful Spotlight search. There is no prize for guessing that if it's planning to rival Google like a proper search engine, it will definitely be a difficult task. It will not only need to have a huge database but will also need to be super fast at combing through all the information and fetch relevant results within a matter of milliseconds.
It is worth noting that Apple's AppleBot crawler has been crawling the web for information for years. It also hired John Giannendera about 2.5 years ago who was head of Search at Google earlier. All of these things will surely help it along in the journey to build its own search engine that would reduce dependency on Google.