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Apple's own search engine project said to be falling into place

By Cookie Monster - on 2 Oct 2023, 9:43am

Apple's own search engine project said to be falling into place

Apple's own search engine project could be years from becoming a reality, but it could be closer than you think according to Bloomberg.

Apple's long-term strategy is to own and develop the core technologies powering its devices. It already has its own App Store, music and video streaming service, a game subscription service, map navigation service, and processors. So what's next? Bloomberg says it could be a replacement for Google Search.

While Google remains the default search engine on iOS devices, Apple is believed to be working on its own search engine which could create another revenue stream the size of the Apple Watch. While there is no concrete evidence that Apple's own search engine is ready to compete against Google, the pieces are falling into place according to Bloomberg.

Apple is said to have a giant search team under the leadership of former Google executive John Giannandrea. His team has developed a next-generation search engine for Apple's apps, which is known internally as Pegasus. The search engine is already available in some Apple apps and is expected to feature in more apps including the App Store.

Looking ahead, Giannandrea's team plans to integrate Apple's search features deeper into the iOS and macOS experience with new generative AI tools. Three months ago, Bloomberg reported that Apple is testing a ChatGPT-like tool and exploring other generative AI technologies. However, Apple does not seem to have a "clear strategy" to release AI-based technology to consumers yet.

Besides a giant search team, Apple also has an advertising technology team which could prove valuable when it launches its own search engine. This team is responsible for the search ad functions in the App Store, delivery of ads in Apple News, stocks and weather apps, and negotiating advertising deals for streaming sports.

Apple is also actively recruiting engineers to work on search technologies. It acquired Laserlike, a machine learning startup in 2019 which focused on delivering "high quality information and diverse perspectives on any topic from the entire web to you". It could have acquired Microsoft's Bing service in 2020, but Apple's senior vice president of services Eddy Cue rejected the deal as he felt there was no better search engine alternative than Google. 

If history is any indication, Apple could be putting the pieces in place to ditch Google as the default search engine on its devices in the future. It has already transitioned from Intel chips to its own M-series processors for the Mac and is likely to ditch Qualcomm for its own 5G modems in 2026. 

So what's stopping Apple from doing the same for search, arguably one of the most used and important tools, on its devices? Apple is one of the few companies with the resources to pull off something of this magnitude, so it could be only a matter of time before it develops its own search engine.

Source: Bloomberg

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