Rumors of Apple launching a Web search engine resurface

AR tech blogger Robert Scoble believes Apple will launch a new user-centric web search engine, similar to Google, but more news won’t come until January 2023 at the earliest. Rumors of Apple creating a Google competitor aren’t new, but they’re not common either. Scoble gave no further details in his Twitter feed but said he was relying partly on communications with sources and partly on inference.

Previously, Scoble had said that Apple would launch the foundation of its VR business at WWDC 2022: a headset, along with an “all-new iPod .” But he quickly tweeted another, trying to evade all of what he said about Apple.

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“Take everything I say about Apple as implausible, but I know it,” he said on Twitter.

There is precedent for Apple to release Google’s alternative services, such as the company’s complete abandonment of Google Maps in the ecological environment and full use of Apple Maps developed by itself, although it was not smooth at first.

In addition, Apple already has a search engine, but not for end-users, but to provide business support for Siri and Spotlight. So it doesn’t seem like a huge stretch is necessary for Apple to expand into a full Google-style universal search service.

But if Apple rolls out this universal search engine for users, it’s likely to lose a lot of money. Because it was previously reported that Google expects to pay $15 billion to Apple in 2021 in order to continue to be the default search engine on iOS. If correct, the deal would be equivalent to 15% to 20% of Apple’s annual profits in 2020.

At the time, it was believed that Google paid this amount to avoid losing its default search engine status to Microsoft’s Bing.

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