All Apple needs to do is look at the competitive landscape and see that it’s important to take some of that hard earned cash, about $140-billion or so at last count, and do what Google and Microsoft have been doing for years.
Blow It All Away
Apple has enough cash that it can afford to blow money away just like Google and Microsoft have been doing for a decade or so.
True story. Google is a one-trick pony, a company that claims to be a technology company, but which is little more than an advertising company.
That’s right. Google is all about ads. About 94-percent (revenue or profit, it doesn’t much matter) is advertising.
Microsoft, on the other hand, is all about Windows and Office, and tens and tens of billions of dollars later (spent on attempts to diversify itself like Apple) have left the company with revenue and profits mostly from Windows and Office.
What Apple needs is what Google and Microsoft already have. A search engine.
Think about it. There’s Google search. There’s Bing search. There’s Yahoo! search (really, it’s just Bing with Yahoo!’s name attached and some kind of advertising revenue share). And there’s DuckDuckGo.
DuckDuckGo is very much unlike anything Apple does but could become a huge thorn in Google and Microsoft’s respective paws. DuckDuckGo doesn’t make much money, probably doesn’t make a nickel of profit and the little advertising you’ll see on a DuckDuckGo search results page is limited to a modest but obvious connection to what you searched for in the first place.
That means DuckDuckGo, unlike Google and Microsoft, does not track who you are and where you travel the internet and doesn’t monetize personal data. Just like Apple kinda, sorta, mostly doesn’t track much about you and doesn’t make much money (relatively speaking) from online advertising.
If Apple bought DuckDuckGo and made it the default search option for iPhone, iPad, and Mac, it would immediately become the #2 or #3 search engine in the whole wide world (alright, it’s probably #3 already, and way behind the leaders, but you get the idea– Google’s search engine lead would be diminished).
Apple can afford DuckDuckGo. Apple could make DuckDuckGo much better and still remain true to your privacy and security. And it would really piss off Google and Microsoft so that makes it an idea that just won’t go away.