'Apple, stick with Google on Safari'

Why Apple should stick with Google as the default search engine on iOS

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'Apple, stick with Google on Safari' Apple's focus is, and always has been, on user experience
By  Tom Paye Published  April 17, 2014

Reports surfaced today that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is looking to woo Apple away from Google, with the intent of making Yahoo the default search engine for Safari on the iPhone and iPad.

While users can choose which search engine to use in Safari for iOS, most stick with the default offering from Google. And why wouldn't they? Google's integration into Safari is top-notch, and the quality of the search giant's results based on location are second to none, in my opinion.

Which is why I believe that making Yahoo the default search engine on Safari would be a bad move for Apple.

Certainly, there are plenty of business reasons why Apple should sever its default browser agreement with Google. Yes, Cupertino gets upwards of $1 billion a year out of the deal, but Google is doing very well out of it, too. Estimates say that Google makes more money off of iOS alone than it does out of the entire Android endeavour, despite Android being the world's most popular mobile operating system.

And while Google is happily making money out of iOS, Apple doesn't get a thing from the Android ecosystem. Indeed, Android is actively eating into Apple's smartphone and tablet business - the company's bread and butter. As TechCrunch's MG Siegler notes, Apple is indirectly subsidising a portion of the major war against itself by giving Google access to its customers.

And that $1 billion a year? Well, it's a tiny drop in Apple's enormous ocean of piled-up cash. As ridiculous as it sounds, that amount of money is basically inconsequential to the business as a whole.

At first glance, then, it seems like Apple's getting shafted, and there are other reasons why it might want to drop Google for as the iPhone's default search engine. The company has already dropped Google Maps and YouTube as standard offerings on iOS (users now have to consciously download these apps from the App Store), so it makes sense to get rid of Google search as well. Apple has been trying to distance itself from Google for years as the two companies' relationship has deteriorated. Losing Google search could simply be the final nail in the coffin.

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