There may be no two companies in the tech world who compete as fiercely as Google and Apple – though recent reports show they share a unique, symbiotic relationship.
Google is paying a considerable sum of money every year to remain the default search engine of Apple’s Safari browser.
How much money? The exact sum isn’t known, but it could be as much as $3 billion per year. CNBC was first to break the news about a Bernstein report that arrived at this number.
It is known for sure, according to a court document referenced in the report, that Google was paying $1 billion per year to be the default search engine on iOS in 2014.
Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi believes that number has risen to $3 billion due to a variety of factors.
Mobile traffic and sales of iOS devices have increased since then. Apple commands 18% of the smartphone market, making it the world’s top smartphone vendor.
In addition, Apple’s revenue from licensing has grown, as has Google’s traffic acquisition costs.
With all of that taken into consideration, it is believed Google will be paying Apple up to $3 billion by the end of 2017 to be Safari’s default search engine.
History has shown Apple is not afraid to drop Google services as iOS defaults. Years ago, iPhones used to come with YouTube and Google Maps pre-installed.
Now they have to be downloaded from the App Store, and Apple has since introduced its own Maps competitor.
With that said, it’s likely Google will continue paying Apple large sums of money to remain its default search engine for the foreseeable future.
Business Insider believes the sum will only continue to grow year after year.