But before we get into what does that look like, let’s start off by talking about the common reasons people say, “Apple won’t be building a search engine.” The first is that we know that Google pay Apple something in the order of $18 billion to $20 billion dollars a year to be the default search engine on Apple devices. That’s a lot of cash.
But if you consider Apple makes more than a billion dollars a day, probably not such a big idea as we think it is. But more importantly, in 2020, the Department of Justice in the U.S. said that they were going to be suing Google for monopoly practices. One of the four bullet points they listed as their reasons was that they don’t want Apple being paid by Google to be the default search engine. They believe that’s a monopoly practice.
They want it to stop. So even if Apple do care about the cash, it might be going away anyway. So then it was not necessarily a surprise, in 2018, we saw the head of search at Google leave and go to Apple. Apple hired the head of search. That’s a very suspicious thing to do if you’re not building a search engine. We also saw at the same time they started listing job listings for hundreds and hundreds of search engineers, which all adds up to building something search related.