Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray believes that there's a good chance Apple will build its own search engine within the next five years. He sees the ongoing war between Apple and Google as good reason for Apple to undertake such a project.
Business Insider - We believe Apple could utilize data unavailable to Google, data generated by the company's App Store, to create a mobile centric search engine, which would be a unique offering to Google's search engine.
An iPhone specific search engine could be a difficult undertaking, but we feel Apple could make a minor acquisition of a search company that has built a web index, like a Cuil, and utilize the index as the base for building its own engine.
We believe the odds of Apple developing a search engine in the next five years are 70%. One hurdle for Apple in developing its own search engine would be generating enough advertiser interest to form a competitive marketplace; however, we believe the rationale for an Apple search product is to protect data rather than generate profit.
Honestly, given the time and money that is required to build a search engine, it seems unlikely Apple will do so if there's no tangible financial gains.
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