Apple has enough money on hand to buy Yahoo! and Adobe and still have nearly $100-billion left over. Because Apple’s Enemy Number One in mobile devices is Google, there are calls for the company to buy a search engine to compete.
There’s just one problem with that idea.
Where’s The Beef?
Outside of Google and a handful of speciality search engines, they just don’t make much money, and that includes Yahoo!
Microsoft’s Bing, which powers Yahoo!’s search engine results, has been a big money loser for many years.
Other than a measure of revenge, what would Apple gain by acquiring Yahoo! or even tiny DuckDuckGo, another search engine option in OS X Yosemite’s new Safari browser?
If anything, not much. Besides, there are plenty of search engine options available to Apple to provide to users that are not named Google.
With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite Safari’s default search engine remains Google, but options include Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo.
Siri uses Bing to deliver search results. The newly enhanced Spotlight search in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite uses many sources for search results, including Wikipedia, all displayed in an attractive, mid-screen panel which diminishes Google’s influence.
Even the new Safari’s combined search and URL field will display options beyond the default search engine. There’s little doubt that Apple is working to marginalize Google on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, but there’s little need to acquire a search engine to do so.
The option to set DuckDuckGo as the default search in Safari also means Apple is coming down on the side of privacy whereas Google’s position on user privacy is the same as Facebook. You don’t have any privacy.
Finally, search engines have become somewhat passé in the mobile device industry which relies more on specific and targeted search from within apps, rather than Google’s broad shotgun approach which requires advertising for support.
Apple doesn’t need its own search engine because many choices are already available, and, well, there’s ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ and Google rapidly is becoming everyone’s favorite enemy.