Google Pays Apple $100 Million for iPhone Search
According to a report in Silicon Valley Insider
, Apple pockets a cool $100 million US every year to keep Google as the default search engine on the iPhone. Though that amount is small change compared to the company's reported $50 billion in annual revenue, it may be enough motivation to keep Apple from building its own search engine, as rumors have suggested. However, another company with deep pockets is reportedly in talks with Apple: Microsoft.
Apple and Google's war has come more and more out into the open since Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple's Board of Directors. At the iPod unveiling last month, Steve jobs reportedly said flat-out that "Google wants to kill the iPhone." The two companies are directly competing in online advertising (Quattro vs. AdMob), browsers (Chrome vs. Safari), and, smartphones (Android vs. iPhone). However, Google powers the Maps application in addition to online search, and Apple's recent purchase of mapping company PlaceBase raised speculation that they were thinking about developing their own inhouse map engine. PlaceBase's CEO Jaron Waldman became part of Apple's new Maps Team, which began searching for engineers
to help "take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things."
Years of rumors that Apple was working on its own search engine have never been substantiated. In November 2008, TechCrunch surveyed all the major search players
and found that Apple wasn't hiring away the programming talent that would be needed to mount a serious challenge to Google. And today's Silicon Valley Insider
report quoted its source - someone that it said was "familiar with Apple's operations" - as saying that the rumor that Apple is building its own search engine "isn't credible" because "there's too many options" for search on the market. Last month reports began coming in of Apple and Microsoft negotiating
over making Bing the default search engine on the iPhone. BusinessWeek reported today
that those talks are proceeding well, with a financial analyst saying that the "likelihood of Microsoft winning Apple search deal for iPhone is high."