Back in 2007 when iPhone was first launched, there were three components in this device that relied on Google, i.e. Maps, YouTube, and Web search. However, with the latest iOS 6 update, iPhone has booted out two of these components that are Maps, and YouTube.
As most of you would not know that it was Google that built YouTube as a standard part of iOS, so Apple removing it, is more beneficial to Google. It is to be noted that the app has not been touched in years, although Google has made significant upgrades to the YouTube experience on other platforms, including the mobile web. However, Google has never been able to monetize the YouTube app views with advertisements. Since, it is not associated with Apple anymore, Google can do so easily now.
Keeping that in mind, it is a possibility or some might even say that the most likely situation that it was Google that decided to end this relationship rather than Apple itself. The whole story about this decision is yet to be told, so maybe we will hear it sometime in the future or maybe we won’t. The fact of the matter is that, this move (removing YouTube from iOS) was something, which both parties wanted to do for a long time now. Google wanted to do it because of the reasons mentioned above, and Apple wanted to do it because Google is now its biggest rival in the mobile space.
As for removing maps, it follows Apple’s decision to launch its own mapping application this fall as a standard part of iOS 6. We have seen the glimpse of Apple maps recently. People should keep in mind that there is no doubt about why Apple did so, because it was solely because Apple wanted to remove Google from the key parts of its devices. The ramifications of these decisions cannot be seen at first glance, which are actually quiet bigger than you can imagine. However, it would not be as big as removing Google as iPhone’s default search engine.
Google is the default search browser in iOS, but bear in mind that users do have a choice to choose Yahoo or Bing instead of Google. There are very few people who actually change the default settings and change the default search engine on their phone, because to most of the people, default is all that matters. Apple clearly has the power to remove Google from default and set Bing as the default browser and let me assure you that this decision will truly hit Google where it hurts the most.
However, this thought is nothing new because back in the start of 2010, there were reports mentioning Microsoft and Apple having talks about making Bing the default browser in its iOS. However, those talks only lead to making Bing as an option in iOS 4. There were a lot of reasons behind it at that time, kind of like there are now, which is why Apple is not making this move at this point.
Bing has had billions of dollars poured into it, but still Google remains the dominant search engine. Moreover, if the world continues to grow mobile, then Google will certainly hold a greater piece of this pie. This is mainly because of the fact that only two mobile matters right now, which are iOS and Android. Since, Google is already the default search engine in iOS and it owns Android, then there isn’t much room for competition here.
Though, Microsoft is hoping that this equation will change with their Window 8 Surface tablet, but no one would count on it on happening. But the possibility that can happen is, Microsoft pays Apple a ton of money to make Bing the default search engine in iOS.
However, this possibility meets with two problems.
One, Apple is not like any other tech company that needs money because it already has a ton of money. Moreover, it is believed that Google pays Apple upwards of $1 billion a year for being the default search engine on iOS. If you think that is an insane amount then think again, because almost two years ago, that amount was close to 100 million dollars, which is an insane leap, which just goes to show how important it is to be default search engine on the iOS. Apple in this fiscal year is aiming for $150 billion, in front of which, Google’s $1 billion sounds like a drop in a bucket. So, even if Microsoft decided to pay $2 billion or $5 billion – it still won’t be meaningful to Apple.
The second problem is that – At the end of the day, Apple cares about user experience. If Microsoft wants to compel Apple to make Bing its default search engine, then it would have to offer a better user experience than Google. Now there are people who believe Bing is better than Google and vice versa. But if Bing is even close enough to Google, and if Apple agrees with this fact to be true, then that is going to be great news for Bing.
For users, pretty close is not close enough. For users to make the switch, Bing would have to be better than Google by leaps and bounds. But for mobiles, if a willing partner agrees that pretty close is close enough, then it could just hand over the default search engine spot to Bing instead of Google.
There are pros and cons for Google and Bing, but let us face the fact that both Apple and Microsoft consider Google as a thorn in their eyes. So, if these two enemies decide to join hands against a common enemy, then the possibility of Bing being the default search engine on iOS becomes brighter. People, should also keep in mind that by keeping Google as the default search engine in iOS, Apple is directly responsible for sending billions of dollars to Google. However, it all depends on what Apple wants and what Microsoft has to offer at the end because if that happens, then Google will really have to step up its services even more in order to compete against Apple.