Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If Apple Developed Search

With Google CEO's leaving Apple's board of directors and the many posts now about it and a growing call or speculation about a new Silicon Valley rivalry between Apple and Google, it stands be believe that Apple will eventually launch a salvo or two at Mountain View.

And should that happen, it'll be interesting to watch.  Very very interesting.  Two giants separated by less than 10 miles (according to Yahoo Maps - trying to stay neutral in this battle, avoiding using Google Maps).  

One potential area where Apple can really shine is in the area of search, and maybe even hurt Google a bit.  If Microsoft can get Bing working after all these years trials and errors, Apple's years of software and Spotlight development experience can come up with a viable search product and maybe shake things up in the search market.

At least that is also what one ZDNet post is thinking as well.  I've long wondered about this ever since Android came on the scene.  We all know Apple isn't going to be very happy with Google's move into the mobile OS market, much less so that Chrome OS will now compete with Apple's main computer hardware and software business.  

At the same time, though not widely mentioned, is that Apple is always cooking something deep within its headquarters including its own search engine.  And more than likely, search was given a priority since competitive winds from Google got stronger and stronger.

One small drawback is that Google pays Apple to be the default search engine in Safari.  Well, perhaps in the short-term during the transition from Google Search to Apple Search, that might be an issue.  But also keep in mind that Apple might be able to charge advertisers a higher rate given that Apple users generally come from higher income brackets of our society (unforunately, not in my household).

30 million users with a potential for another 50-100 million iPhone and iPod Touch users in the world, that's quite a bit of searches and ad revenues.  Apple's search will be about results and a specific group of users, it won't need to worry about volume.  And with a savy computing market, Apple can potentially rip away from Bing and Google anywhere from 10-15% of the search market while at the same time command a premium in advertising dollars.

So, would you abandon your favorite search engine just because you're an Apple mobile warrior or Mac user?  Well, I'll certainly be very excited and definitely give it a go.  But Apple will have to get Apple Search right from day one.  

Personally, I can see myself still using Google quite a bit unless Apple Search really blows it away and I just don't see that happening.  I have nothing against Google.  I'm quite upset about Google Voice app rejection by ATT.  I've got a G1 and have learn to tolerate its rough edges.  

Overall, Apple has the best hardware-software combo.  And with the right search, watching, Redmond and Mountain View.

Post mentioned:  ZDNet

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