Google pays Apple around $10 to $12 billion a year to be its main search provider across all its devices. The deal between the two companies may expire soon as a new antitrust case against Google by the US Department of Justice could prevent its extension. This may cause Apple to part ways with Google and develop its own search engine.
This isn’t the first time Apple has made moves to transition away from Google as back in 2014, Apple’s web crawler Applebot became operational as an alternative to Google. Apple also hired Google’s Search and Artificial Intelligence chief John Giannandrea in 2017 who started working as Senior VP of Machine Learning and AI Strategy at Apple.
Fast forward to 2020, iOS 14’s home screen search takes you directly to websites, bypassing Google completely.
It is unclear what form the Apple search engine will take. There are no details as to whether it will be a full-blown website like Google.com or if it will be a quick search feature for iOS and macOS devices.
Either way, it is clear that Google’s deal with Apple will soon start facing regulatory pressure which may end up with Apple unveiling an alternative, whatever it turns out to be.