Apple wants to shake off Google with its own search app and online ads business

Apple is building out some of its own software and planning a new product to loosen Google’s hold on its ecosystem, Financial Times reports.

Several Apple employees working on the software told the publication that the company is silently evolving its maps and search apps to be more viable alternatives to Google’s.

While Apple has been offering its maps app since 2012, a bug-riddled launch and lack of features assured Google’s dominant position in this category.

The app has improved substantially in the past few years, but Apple is turning up the heat by launching additional features to compete with Google Maps.

Recently, it rolled out Business Connect, which allows companies to claim digital locations for interacting with users, displaying photos, and offering promotions.

This represents a direct threat to Google Maps’s approach of using recommendations platform Yelp to serve business information and make revenues from advertising and referral fees.

Business Connect adds features unique to iOS, including integration with Apple Pay and a text tool for commerce called Business Chat.

The second piece of software Apple aims to enhance is its predominantly covert and unofficially named “Apple Search” tool, which currently powers results provided by Apple’s voice assistant Siri or the Spotlight search feature on Mac.

Apple has gradually improved the feature by acquiring various startups with search, analytics, and artificial intelligence technologies.

If Apple ends up creating a proper rival for Google Search, it could eat into the company’s market share by making its app the default search engine on iPhones.

Having more control over what search engine iPhone users prefer could also play well into Apple’s focus on privacy by preventing web search data from being leaked to third parties.

But Google currently pays a handsome $8-$12 billion a year to be the default search engine on iOS, so Apple will have to compensate for that loss.

The final front where Apple aims to rid itself of Google could provide an answer.

Apple is rumoured to be looking into launching its own online ad network to take on Google Ads.

The clearest sign of this was the appointment of Keith Weisberg as Apple’s group product manager of Ad Platforms in September 2022.

According to a job ad describing his role, Weisberg’s position entails driving the design of the “most privacy-forward, sophisticated demand-side platform [DSP] possible”.

DSPs are digital media buying tools which enable advertising companies to buy ad inventory on multiple exchanges.

Weisberg previously worked at Google and YouTube and was senior product manager at Amazon’s DSP before Apple recruited him.

Insider Intelligence analyst Andrew Lipsman told Financial Times that Google’s position within iOS looked more vulnerable than ever due to the abovementioned developments.

Now read: Big iCloud security upgrade launching in South Africa

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments


Share this article
Apple wants to shake off Google with its own search app and online ads business