Apple’s executives were totally surprised, disappointed, and disturbed that Google entered the smartphone arena after the iPhone was launched. As then CEO Steve Jobs said, “We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business.”
One can argue multiple points here. Google already had an Android project before the iPhone was launched. Apple didn’t enter the search engine business, but the App Store and iPhone were a torpedo into Google’s bread and butter revenue and profit stream. Here’s another one.
Shot Heard ‘Round The World
Apple’s iPhone was a shot heard around the world but it wasn’t just the beginning of a new era for smartphones. It was also the beginning of the end for traditional search engine usage.
That is Google’s cash cow, the profit machine, the money Google uses to fund high profile projects that give the company the illusion of being an innovator but do little to diversify the company’s revenues and profits.
Seven years into the smartphone revolution unleashed by Apple, Google remains a one-trick pony, and Apple is one of the reasons the search giant has had less success in the smartphones.
Yes, Android OS may account for 80-percent of all smartphones on planet earth, but Google has yet to capitalize on that with revenue and profit. Apple has.
In fact, Apple just fired another shot at Google, inflicting yet another hole in the once shiny persona the Android maker created to pull the wool over the eyes of Wall Street analysts and investors.
Apple just announced iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, two closely linked operating systems, or platforms which loosen Google’s grip on search. DuckDuckGo and Bing take center stage in Safari; simple options to search which bypass Google.
The New Spotlight
Spotlight, in both iOS 8 and OS X, has been enhanced to become a search portal (again bypassing Google) for local search, Wikipedia search, and plain old non-Google search.
Apple may not have entered the search business, but Apple has managed to cripple Google’s attempts to dominate search and advertising on mobile devices.
Clicking on the Search Field in Safari once yielded instant access to Google (default), or Yahoo! or Bing. Now, in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, the Search Field is more akin to Favorites and Spotlight, de-emphasizing Google. Again.
Apple’s near moribund Spotlight has become a brand of sorts, a way for iPhone and iPad and Mac users to avoid Google and find search results in other ways. Bing was already the default search engine for Siri.
Ouch. Another hole in Google’s increasingly less important, less dominant search engine; all thanks to Apple. Google wasn’t content to become Apple’s partner in the mobile device revolution and decided to become a competitor.
Competitors win some and lose some. Apple may have lost the smartphone and tablet marketshare wars, but seems to be winning everywhere else; especially in profits.