As part of a continuing effort to create the news rather than report it, The Register asks if Apple is plotting a search engine of its own? Does the world need yet another search engine? Is that the kind of business Apple needs to be running?
The Other Apple
Our favorite Cupertino, CA gadget company has many businesses; some overt, some covert.
For example, Apple designs and builds the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone, and a bunch of software applications and utilities. That’s the overt Apple business.
The covert businesses include Apple’s iTunes Store which includes the App Store. These are big businesses with millions of customers and a heavy duty cash flow, to the tune of billions of dollars a year.
Yahoo!, one of the pioneers in search engine technology, just ditched what they knew and built, in favor of a deal to use Microsoft’s Bing search engine instead of their own. While The Register asks, “Is Apple plotting a search of its own?,” someone should ask, “Why would they?”
Where’s the Jack?
Apple’s covert businesses in the form of iTunes Store, MobileMe, et al, are designed to support and enhance Apple’s overt businesses; the iPod, iPhone, and the Mac.
While all are profitable, the hardware sales bring in the big revenue numbers and huge margins that makes Apple so rich. What would an Apple-branded search engine bring to Apple’s bottom line; directly or indirectly?
Two questions: Does the world need an Apple search engine? And, where’s the money trail? It’s just not there. That’s why Apple won’t bother with building and managing their own search engine. Or, will they?
Google, still an advertising company that gives away technology to support advertising revenues, was a onetime Apple friend. With Google CEO Eric Schmidt off Apple’s Board of Directors, with Google launching the Android OS for cellphones, with Google launching Chrome to compete with Safari, and with Google launching Chrome OS to compete with OS X and Windows, could Apple consider building a search engine product just for spite?
That’s an expensive proposition. Yahoo! finally decided it wasn’t worth the expense. Microsoft has never made money in search. Could Apple do search better than Google? More likely, Apple would enhance Safari with a multiple search option, Apple style, Spotlight style. But not Google style.