Apple's potential entry into the search engine market has recently held the tech world in anticipation. Meanwhile, Google – a long-standing titan in this domain and also a company that is keenly aware of the possibility and the threat it presents to its market dominance – made some strategic moves aimed at thwarting any such venture from Apple.
On Google's side, there is anxiety over Apple's search technology ambitions. On Apple's side, there are the ambitions themselves. And what happens now?
Google's Anxiety Over Apple's Search Technology Ambitions
The alliance between Google and Apple in the search engine partnership traces back to 2002. This relationship became more complex when Google released the Android mobile operating system in 2008, which directly competed with the iPhone.
A sense of unease has shrouded Google's executives with the evolution of Apple's search technology. The tech giant Apple has significantly improved its search capabilities over the years, with its iPhone search tool, Spotlight, providing detailed web results quite similar to Google's offerings in 2021.
In the same year, Google had to fork out a staggering $ 18 billion to remain the default search engine on iPhones.
In a bid to suppress Apple's search ambitions, Google has adopted a multi-pronged strategy.
Google's Plan Against Apple And Its Defensive Measures
The intricacies of Google's plan against Apple highlight the premium Google's executives place on maintaining their supremacy in the search business. It also underscores Google's complicated relationship with Apple, as they are rivals in consumer gadgets and software.
Some of the company's defensive measures were to:
- outdoing Spotlight by developing a personalized version for iPhones;
- encouraging more iPhone users to adopt Google's Chrome web browser over Apple's Safari browser; and
- exploring opportunities to break Apple's control on the iPhone by leveraging a new European law designed to facilitate small companies in competing with big tech corporations.
Now, as the landmark antitrust suit against Google unfolds, government lawyers argue that Google has manipulated the market through default agreements with companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Mozilla.
These agreements direct traffic to Google's search engine when users input information in the search bar of a browser. However, the company downplays the role of these default agreements in its success, attributing its popularity to the quality and innovation of its search engine.
And the imminent Digital Markets Act from the European Union is another crucial aspect of this dynamic rivalry. The law is designed to help smaller companies break the control of big tech companies over the industry, and Google sees an opportunity here to exploit loopholes and draw more users to its services.
The prospect of Apple venturing into the search engine market has spurred Google into proactive defensive measures, which serve to fortify its current dominant position and ensure its continued supremacy even if Apple decides to take the plunge into the search engine market.
For now, the unfolded big picture underscores the relentless efforts of these tech giants to stay ahead in the competitive field of internet search technology. What comes next? We have to wait to see.