It’s being speculated that Apple may be trying to distance itself from Google by dropping the company’s search engine as the default option within the Safari browser.
There has been turmoil between Apple and Google ever since Google entered into the smartphone market and started competing directly with Apple. Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying he wanted to “destroy Android”, and one can only assume that this hostility towards Google hasn’t waned, especially as Android’s share of the mobile operating system market continues to rise.
The Information broke the news about Apple potentially dropping Google as Safari’s default search engine, but the vast majority of the article is behind a paywall so I’ll sum up the key details for you.
Apple signed a contract with Google in 2010 to use its search engine as Safari’s default. The contract between Apple and Google is set to end in 2015, and at this time it’s not certain that the contract will be renewed.
While it’s not confirmed Apple will drop Google as its default search engine, sources tell The Information that Apple is actively seeking out other options and is in talks with Microsoft and Yahoo.
With Bing being Siri’s default search engine, as well as being integrated within OS X Yosemite, it is being thought that Microsoft is in the running as the most likely to replace Google as Safari’s default search engine.
This news is coming just off the heels of an announcement by Firefox which saw the browser dropping Google as its default search engine in favor of Yahoo.
With Firefox’s dwindling market share, coupled with little mobile presence, losing support from Firefox is not nearly as significant a loss to the company as losing support from Apple would be.
Safari only holds a 5% share of the desktop browser market, but a whopping 45% share of the mobile browser market. When you take into account Safari’s mobile market share, and the fact that people are conducting more searches on mobile than ever before, Apple’s looming decision could significantly impact the search engine market.
If Apple drops support for Google will the company be dethroned as search leader? Not likely, but it could lead to substantial gains in market share for whichever search engine Apple sides with. That makes this story an especially important one to follow.