Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Schmidt Resignation: Is Apple Building Apple Search Service?

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 3, 2009

When the first iPhone came out two years ago I was astounded that there was no way to search its contents: Searching For Search On the iPhone

One year later, in 2008, after many updates to the software and new hardware: still no search function! It's taken another year to add search in the most recent update iPhone 3.0 in June. It's taken two years to add search.

That's not accidental it has to be deliberate. A year ago I wrote: Is Apple About To Launch Apple Search?

And it makes sense. It has its own browser and having its own search site makes perfect sense.

The browser and search service are essentially the operating system for our modern times. Apple knows all about owning the OS and that has been a winning strategy for Apple.

Take a look at how Apple would be able to quickly build a large search engine business:

1: The Apple fanboy market would leave Google in a heartbeat. No question. That's about 5 per cent of the computer market, and that's not counting the iPod, iPhone users.

2) All the users of Safari, the Apple web browser on Macs and Windows systems would be default users of Apple search.

3) Search is all about brand. Tests have shown little difference in the quality of search results between search engines. Microsoft rebranded its search service Bing and it now has traction. Apple knows "brand" very well and it knows how to parlay that expertise into new businesses.

Study: Good Brand Can Make Search Seem More Relevant

The study showed that when a searcher was given an identical result set across Google, Yahoo, Windows Live Search and an in house search engine, Google and Yahoo came out as more relevant. Why? Because of the brand of the search engine.

Despite the results pages being identical in content and presentation, participants indicated that Yahoo! and Google outperformed MSN Live Search and the in-house search engine.

http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index.php/id;229165979

One drawback for Apple is that GOOG pays Apple for placing its search engine in the search bar in Safari. Industry whispers report that this payment is enough to fund development of Mac OS X.

However, that revenue is jeopardized by Google's announcement of its Chrome browser, and also there is competition from Google's ChromeOS, and its Android cell phone software.

While the industry focuses on Microsoft and Google competition, Google and Apple are becoming ever more competitive with each other. That's why Eric Schmidt is leaving Apple's board of directors.

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Please see:

Since There Is No Objective Way To Gauge Search . . . Brand Will Win

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