How’d that work out? Not so well for either company, as Google decided to become a competitor to Apple, and ended up losing billions in the process. So, who is Apple’s new friend in the search engine business?
What Goes Around, Comes Around
Apple’s iOS platform needs data, specifically, the very kind that Google could provide, should provide, and would be happy to provide. Apple isn’t in a cooperative mood since Google launched Android OS.
Who else is around who could become Apple’s new BFF? Yahoo!, the company that’s been around the block, takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.
Yahoo! already helps Apple with data for iPhone and iPad apps (stock results, weather data, and Siri sports data), and could be lining up to provide even more.
Some estimate that more than half of Google’s mobile ad revenue comes from iOS devices. That’s low hanging fruit for Yahoo! to provide competing apps and advertising options.
Here’s what’s interesting about this scenario and what makes up this episode of strange bedfellows. Yahoo! has a good, recognizable brand, but Yahoo!’s search engine is essentially Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
There’s even a Yahoo! Bing Network for advertising. Think about it. Apple has iAds. Google has ads. Yahoo! has ads. Microsoft has ads. And all of them are trying to compete for business with Apple’s huge installed base of iOS customers.
Apple’s New BFF
That makes Yahoo! the search engine giant that Apple needs as a new BFF, but the search engine it uses is Bing, from Apple’s long time nemesis, Microsoft.
Microsoft has done little but lose money with Bing and online advertising, but Yahoo! needs what Apple can provide. More search revenue and less dependence upon Microsoft.
Apple’s competitors were once IBM, then Microsoft, but as the company has expanded into online media sales, online app sales, smartphones and tablets, the competitive landscape has become more crowded and complex.
All the major players overlap and compete with Apple. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon. Yahoo! and Apple have too look at each other as both an opportunity and a collaborative option for more app and data usage, and as a source for new dat, respectively.
Here’s what I see taking place.
Apple will buddy up more with Yahoo! for data integration, while Yahoo! will compete with Google with iOS applications.
Google and Microsoft will be the losers, as traditional search usage drops, and integrated search via apps becomes the norm, which benefits both Apple and Yahoo! This is a remarkable turn of events for all the companies. Yahoo!’s revenue has remained static while Microsoft hasn’t made substantial inroads in the battle with Google. Meanwhile, Google’s mobile efforts have met with a dizzying array of legal problems, huge investments which may never pay off, and Android’s anemic financial performance.