So, the other day I came across this question, why doesn’t apple build its own search engine? After all, it’s the most valuable company in the planet. Today, I am going to answer that question as comprehensively as possible by looking at several key aspects of Apple business.
Apple is Built Around Privacy
Apple is a staunch privacy defender for its customers information. Search engine is the opposite of just that. Google, which is the most popular search engine, doesn’t mind using your information to deliver results you wish. It collects all information it can about for that experience and ads. Can you imagine the reaction of its customers when they hear Apple starts behaving like Google?
Google Pays Billions to Apple
It’s true, Google pays Apple billions of dollars to remain its default search engine on its devices. This is year Google paid about $3 billion dollars and I expect the amount to increase with time. That’s what I would like to call easy money for Apple, why would they want to lose that and majority of their customers would switch to Google search anyways.
How would Apple gain from a Search Engine
Google gains it revenue from search engine through running targeted ads based on user profiles it has created for us. Apple on the other hand, will be wary of doing the same as it will hurt their other businesses as described in the first point.
The remaining alternatives would be: either charge a subscription fee for its services or include the fee in their other services like iPhone prices or iCloud. How many customers would accept that? I doubt many would especially considering all the other search engine are free. And how does that improve Apple ecosystem?
Google Search is light years ahead
Even if Apple decided the above reasons are not enough, it would take years to get to Google search level. Google has refined its search engine to almost perfection, Apple customers would switch to google as soon as they bought their smartphones.
It is dominant in the search industry just like Apple is dominant in the Smartphone industry. Google has created a fort in the search industry and build walls around it with products such as Google Chrome and Google Assistant. Google is search first and then the rest of its services comes later.
Now, consider the resources apple would need to deploy to run a successful search service. Apple would need to spend billions of dollars to get started. While this should not be construed as saying Apple can’t succeed where Yahoo, Microsoft and other have failed. Their odds of success are not Good. I think there is a better use of the over $300 billion in cash they have lying around.