Apple to Release a Search Engine?

Now, this is just speculation based on my musings. If this comes off though, please refer to ‘I told you so’

So Apple, I predict will, in the not so distant future release a Search Engine or some form of PPC platform. Or, sell the data they gather from their Apple fans. Or, partner up with Bing to fight the uber Google.

I wrote previously on the potential for Bing to have more traffic through Apple devices, but now think there may be more to it then this.


Apple are in a perfect position. I have an iPad, an iPhone and use iTunes – obviously! Now, with the recent update, when you use iTunes they ask for you to login. This creates synergy between the device, especially when you sync your devices to iTunes which allows the potential for tracking and browser history or tendencies across all platforms. This would be pretty brilliant for online advertisers.

We could see initial moment of discovery on your phone, potential research on ipad and then conversion through brand on the desktop. You could also potentially remarket across them which would have high relevancy.

So, apart from the new ‘login’ to iTunes, IOS6 also blocks referral data from Google which is going to be a real pain for analysing traffic sources for both paid and organic endeavours so this is a slight against Google.

The new software also changes the ‘limit ad tracking’ from On to Off, and this is hidden within the settings on the iPhone and iPad, meaning most people won’t even realise this is running or have any idea how to turn it off. More data for Apple to use to develop ideas and get really precise demographic information.

Why would they do this though?

In my opinion, the main players online in terms of traffic are Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google. Amazon is taking traffic from Google with people using the site as a retail search engine in its own right. Facebook and Apple so far seem ok. Google and Apple – No.

Dropping Google Maps from IOS6 and then blocking the work around Application which uses Google Maps is a clear statement that they want people to use their own maps. If people use their maps they can also track location data which when tied in with the synergy across the devices, could be pretty powerful.

If they released a Search Engine they could do the same as they have with maps, force users to use it. As my friend said previously ‘I don’t care what I search on as long as it works’ so as long as they can get that right, they are going to get traffic.

If they don’t do a search engine, then they could do something display related with this data. Clearly it would be a while before they had anything like the size of the GDN, but they control the software that so many people use.

Remember, as always you heard it here first!