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Google Iphone Apple

Talk of an Apple Search Engine To Thwart Google 276

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-want-to-play-in-your-yard dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "eWeek reports that the data Apple collects about users from its iPhone is so valuable that the company may build its own iPhone-centric search engine just to keep Google from gleaning insight from that data. 'The data generated on the iPhone OS platform must become an increasing priority for Apple and we believe the company has the resources to develop its own products in both maps and search in the next five years,' writes analyst Gene Munster. Google is currently the default search engine on the iPhone, but Google has increasingly encroached on Apple's mobile turf, offering the Android operating system and several mobile applications. As the search provider for the iPhone, Google sees what iPhone users are searching for, which can help it tailor software and services for its own mobile smartphones — a competitive advantage that has not gone unnoticed by Apple. Apple lacks the experience and engineering wherewithal to build a large, scalable search engine, but Munster says Apple could buy a search startup with a Web index, such as Cuil or Taptu, and use its index as the seed for its own search engine. 'Apple is in an inside position to tap into the current pent-up demand for better mobile search, and add a new competitive differentiation from other search providers and device makers,' adds IDC analyst Hadley Reynolds."
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Talk of an Apple Search Engine To Thwart Google

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  • This will fail (Score:4, Insightful)

    by selven (1556643) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @03:47PM (#31726438)

    Bing was created mainly as an attack on Google and an attempt to get into the search business, not because Microsoft had something new to offer in search. This is being done in the same spirit, and it will also turn out bad, with many users going to google.com to search just because Google is that much better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by clarkkent09 (1104833) *
      I agree but I don't think it's a good thing. I'm afraid that Google has such a lead in the search engine technology as well as the market share, and the brain power behind it all, that it is almost impossible to beat. I think it will take a paradigm shift in how people access the information on the Internet before Google is unseated but that is nowhere on the horizon. The problem I have with this is that every company that carves itself such a secure and powerful position tends to abuse it however well inte
      • by Jurily (900488)

        I agree but I don't think it's a good thing. I'm afraid that Google has such a lead in the search engine technology as well as the market share, and the brain power behind it all, that it is almost impossible to beat.

        Competition is always a good thing. Think about it: if Google stops indexing the website of a business that makes most of their sales online, they go bankrupt.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sopssa (1498795) *

          You're overestimating the importance of that. All the other aspects of marketing work too. For example, theres one store that imports all kinds of hot and exotic spices, chili, and anything related you don't find on normal stores. I never really search for them on Google and most other people have heard about them by word of mouth, and they seem to be doing just fine. Sure they do have their sites indexed in Google which most likely brings them extra customers, but it's not like it's really needed for a suc

        • I agree that competition is good, but although I like Apple products, extending their closed ecosystem to search makes me raise one eyebrow at least a fraction of an inch.
    • by elwinc (663074) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:34PM (#31726740)
      This is not the kind of problem Apple does well on. Apple is brilliant at honing user interfaces. Search is hard work and takes massive data crunching. It's the kind of work Apple traditionally farms out.

      The problem Apple has with the iphone is they just farmed out too much. There's not enough Apple controlled stuff in the iphone for Apple to maintain control. Apple controls email, but that's not hard. Apple doesn't control the voice or data circuits, but those are commodities, so not a problem. Apple farmed out maps. That's more of a problem; only MS and Google do maps reasonably well. Apple farmed out search. That's a problem.

      Apple controls the browser, but that's more of a bug than a feature because the browser is so feature-limited that most functions that could be done by websites on a full-featured browser (for example, IMDB or shopping at Lands End) need a dedicated app on the iphone. Apple is rightly afraid of an infection vector thru the browser, but the result is thousands of 'apps' that simply substitute for websites on a fully functional browser.

      The upshot is the features of the iphone are too easy to duplicate on other machines. Websites do the job of most apps, and maps and search are already controlled by google. What's left?

      Actually there is one thing left, but it's also the kind of hard job that Apple doesn't handle well. Right now we pick phones based on how easy it is to enter data without a keyboard. That's pretty ludicrous when you think about it. If we could input data to a phone by speaking into it how amazing would that be? Yeah, I know, voice rec is hard, but when it comes along it's going to be the only kind of smartphone worth owning. And Apple isn't even working on it.

      • by jpmorgan (517966)

        I think you've got it. But I'll distill it down a little further:

        Apple is very good at screen-centric user interfaces. They are the king of visual interaction. But they have very, very little expertise outside of that arena. Of course, this has served them well because we are primarily visual creatures.

        But speech and sound, and language (in the abstract sense, not the text sense) are also very important interaction mechanisms. And Apple is weak in this area. And its competitors, Microsoft and Google, are qu

      • by madsenj37 (612413)
        SearchMe [wikipedia.org] is up for sale [searchme.com]. Very Apple like. Great for a smaller interface. Combine this with some other licensed technology and you have an Apple home run. Let someone else like Yahoo do all the optimizations and algorithms and Apple can fine tune the interface. Wow, in a month they can be in the search game.
      • by A nonymous Coward (7548) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @05:55PM (#31727312)

        Search is also incompatible with Apple's closed-box approach. I can't see Steve Jobs avoiding the temptation to cook the results in some petty way, even if not directly against those who have crossed him. Look at how closed his app markets are. His ego is too big to let a search engine escape his control.

        People who think Google might drive a company out of business by biasing the search results against them should consider who would be more likely to do that -- Apple or Microsoft or Google?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Actually Android, at least on the Nexus One, has integrated speech recognition. It's done server side and the quality seems to have improved a lot lately. If you use it for phrase-at-a-time speech it can be remarkably accurate. It doesn't work so well in very noisy environments or if you string together several phrases with pauses to imply commas, etc. At least not yet.
    • by kitsunewarlock (971818) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:34PM (#31726754) Journal
      Bing isn't another search engine. Its a decision engine. Specifically, it drives many to decide to go to google instead of using their in-browser search functions.
    • Re:This will fail (Score:5, Informative)

      by JackAxe (689361) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:41PM (#31726798)
      Bing is Microsoft's rebrand of 3 previous failures of trying to get into the search business.
    • Bing was created mainly as an attack on Google and an attempt to get into the search business, not because Microsoft had something new to offer in search. This is being done in the same spirit, and it will also turn out bad, with many users going to google.com to search just because Google is that much better.

      I happen to like Bing better than Google but Microsoft's China policy sucks. Therefore I continue to use Google. I was ready and willing to dump Google. So, clearly Apple has an opportunity. People tend to overestimate Google's invincibility. Google is not that much better than their competition and their lead is rapidly shrinking to the point where the competition is "good enough".

  • Balderdash! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @03:47PM (#31726440)
    Apple isn't going to put together a search engine. Come on, people, pitting Apple against Google, Google against Microsoft, Microsoft against Apple ... it's all just a game of 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' depending on whose market you're playing in.

    Just because Google is making real inroads into the mobile phone market doesn't mean that Apple is going to counter by trying to start a search engine. What's next, a rumor of Google's new Android based gPad?
    • Re:Balderdash! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 04, 2010 @03:50PM (#31726460)

      What's next, a rumor of Google's new Android based gPad?

      You're two months late with that. [informationweek.com]

    • Re:Balderdash! (Score:5, Informative)

      by sznupi (719324) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:03PM (#31726536) Homepage

      Actually, Google seems to be exploring the possibility of tailoring their OS to a tablet...
      http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/user-experience/form-factors/tablet [chromium.org] ...ChromeOS though, not Android

      (but I think I remember some nafucaturers which showed Android-powered tablets at one of recent industry shows)

      • by zlogic (892404)

        And the only way ChromeOS can run third-party apps is inside a web browser, just like iPhone OS 1.0

    • Re:Balderdash! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AndGodSed (968378) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:27PM (#31726688) Homepage Journal

      Also, google seem to have the better angle on a brewing war.

      1. They already have a search engine available on iPhones - Apple won't block it for fear of antitrust litigation.
      2. They already have the best search engine around.
      3. Their smartphone OS is gaining ground on the iPhone OS very quickly.
      4. Their business model of focussing on the OS and letting other phone makers worry about the hardware is smart. Phone makers were praying for an opportunity to have a phone with functionality to compete with the iPhone, and google gave them the OS to do just that. You can now get a samsung that is on at least an equal footing with the iPhone in many respects.

      If Apple decides to throw down the gauntlet google will have the means to crush their search engine business in the long(ish) run, and possibly their phone business too...

      • Apple wouldn't dare block google search because even the notoriously tame Apple fanbois would revolt unless the Apple replacement were 99% as good. Even then there would be an uproar.

      • Re:Balderdash! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by am 2k (217885) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @09:25PM (#31728880) Homepage

        4. Their business model of focussing on the OS and letting other phone makers worry about the hardware is smart. Phone makers were praying for an opportunity to have a phone with functionality to compete with the iPhone, and google gave them the OS to do just that. You can now get a samsung that is on at least an equal footing with the iPhone in many respects.

        Incidentally, that's also their biggest technical weakness. There are many handsets available now, all with different hardware, different software versions (most aren't upgradable to the latest version, because the manufacturer doesn't care). That's a nightmare for software developers. Over time, this will be a larger and larger issue, just like it already is for mobile Java applications.

        As a contrast, all iPhones ever released are upgradable to the latest OS version, and there are only five different types of hardware (including the iPod Touches).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ScrewMaster (602015)

          Incidentally, that's also their biggest technical weakness.

          Sure, it's a two-edged sword. Then again, for people like me that have no need of, nor interest in, an iPhone, and prefer to have an array of options available, Android is way cool. It's not that big a weakness, when you get right down to it, because it's offering millions upon millions of people that opportunity to select a handset that does what they want. Apple's approach is to limit options, but make those options work very well. The problem with that is that when the competition starts to be able to du

  • Yahooooooo!? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by centuren (106470) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @03:50PM (#31726458) Homepage Journal

    I bet Yahoo would be more than happy to provide search technology to Apple (not the powered by Bing stuff, their own capable search). Yahoo's not going to make a competing phone anytime soon, and the cost of a Yahoo deal might well be worth it against the cost of Apple developing their own (the latter obviously being more expensive, but meaning Apple gets full control).

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:18PM (#31726630) Homepage Journal

      I didn't even know there was all this "pent-up demand for better mobile search" as the article claims.

      Did you guys know there was "pent-up demand for better mobile search"? Because I didn't know there was "pent-up demand for better mobile search".

      But if marketing giant IDC says there's "pent-up demand for better mobile search" it must be true. A respected marketing firm wouldn't make something like that up, after all.

      Now that I think about it, I have been feeling vaguely unsatisfied with my horribly deficient mobile search. Perhaps, if there was a better mobile search available, from a company that I really really trust and have positive feelings toward, I might have been aware of this pent-up demand before it became such a crisis.

      God DAMN that Google all to Hell for not meeting my mobile search needs and creating this untenable situation of pent-up demand.

      I wonder what other pent-up demands I have and needs for products and services that aren't being met that I'm not even aware of? I should probably read more Wired Magazine and other fine Conde Nast publications so I can find out about all the needs I have of which I am unaware! Maybe it's that damned AdBlock Plus that is preventing me from learning about my unmet needs! I better turn that off right now!

      • by RobVB (1566105)

        Maybe it's that damned AdBlock Plus that is preventing me from learning about my unmet needs!

        "AdBlock Plus"? Is that what they call a basement door nowadays?

        I know, cheap shot, but someone had to take it.

      • On a serious note, what differences would there need to be between mobile search and desktop search? I don't know about most people, but when I search for something, no matter what device I'm using, I expect the same results from the same terms. I don't always want my results vetted based on where I happen to be standing, or just the fact my phone identifies itself as a mobile device. If they're talking about finding things like pizza places, or cinemas, I think Google kind of already does that, doesn't

      • by Aranykai (1053846)

        You sir have just made my day.

  • by Angst Badger (8636) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:05PM (#31726544)

    It probably is possible to build a company that does many widely disparate things well -- and certainly, there are a few successful examples -- but it is very, very hard. Most of the time, when a company wanders outside of its core competencies, the venture crashes and burns, and sometimes takes the company down with it. Microsoft (and yes, I am using the term core "competency" very loosely here) has managed to get a lock on PC operating systems and office software, but its ventures elsewhere have not been very successful: IE is the dominant browser, but the goal of using it to dominate the internet was a failure, and the Xbox, while reasonably popular, is not profitable for Microsoft. Google's ventures outside search and advertising have been ignorable so far. Even IBM's foray into personal computing, historically important though it was, is history. Combine such an expedition with a challenge to a competitor whose dominance borders on monopoly, and the odds definitely don't get any better.

    Now Apple wants to enter a field in which they not only have no experience, but also lack experience in the entire underlying field of large-scale, massively parallel computing? And they think they're going to do this by buying an unknown and unproven startup?

    Well, good luck with that. The odds of it going anywhere are not good, and if it pisses off enough iPhone owners, it might damage the core company as well. (I know, I know, if iPhones crapped every fifteen minutes like parrots, Apple enthusiasts would be the first to boast that Apple had crapping phones way ahead of everyone else, but Apple is no longer operating in a market where the majority of its customers are diehard fanboys.)

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@NoSPaM.gmail.com> on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:26PM (#31726682)

      I think you'll find that it's some "analyst" who is saying there is a "70% chance" that Apple will do this. Apple themselves have said nothing of the sort, and probably quite rightly have determined that search engines are non of their concern.

      Apple don't want to do anything - some analyst desperate to validate his existence and paycheck decided to make up a wild claim that he cannot possibly prove. What is he basing his 70% figure on? It's not like he has any prior history of a computer maker being suddenly successful with a phone and then deciding to release a search engine. It's just nonsense.

      • by Jay L (74152)

        What is he basing his 70% figure on?

        Just the fact that you can't disprove a percentage with a one-time event. Apple does it? He predicted it. Apple doesn't? He predicted they might not.

        It's like David Cross's character in Waiting for Guffman: The amazing thing about this field is that the weather never changes. There is always - ALWAYS - a 72% chance of rain.

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      "Now Apple wants to enter a field in which they not only have no experience, but also lack experience "

      Like, say, when they launched the first iPod and iTunes and all that, the way they hand no experience in the field of music?

      Yeah, I'd say they have a good shot at this then.

      • The iPod is a music player and iTunes an online music store. Apple still doesn't have any experience in the field of music.

      • by Patch86 (1465427)

        iPod is basically a mini computer, which fits rather neatly with their decades-old business of making computer hardware (Macs/Macbooks/Newton etc.)

        iTunes (in it's original incarnation as a media player programme) is software relating to audio-visual stuff- an area Apple have been operating in to great success for a long time (Macs have aways had the reputation as "the computer to have" for people who need audio or visual editing software, etc.).

        iTunes Store (the music store) is a music selling sight, launch

    • Not going into all the rest, but IBM's "foray"? Just off the top of my head, IBM more or less invented the "Personal Computer" as such, as the smaller version of mainframes and minicomputers (hence the term "microcomputer". Note: Altair, Apple IIe, etc. were "hobbyist/home computers" in their day). Microsoft originally supplied exclusively to IBM, and Intel was a spin-off, too. And this is consistent with IBM's strategy throughout the last decades: as soon as something looks as if it's heading in the direct

    • by fermion (181285)
      I agree that core competencies should not be ignored. However, this rule should be modified if one is going to have a innovative business that lasts more than a few generations. We see this with 3M, IBM. MS is running on inertia, and games may be what it going, if it can really make this a long term prospect. The America car manufacturers were so worried about core competencies that they have made an honest profit in 25 years.

      Apple has to keep a little ahead of everyone else. At first it was a relati

  • Yet another nonsense rumour that will now be considered as "fact", and a whole list of reasons why Apple are so evil for doing this, or why they will surely fail when it's nothing but pure hot air.

    The comments already here are acting like this is an Apple press release.

    Isn't there enough fodder without having to make stuff up?

  • Dubious (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:08PM (#31726566)

    I'm an Apple user and long-time developer for their platforms, and this seems highly unlikely. No, no for fanboi-ish reasons, but because Apple aren't adept at multitasking. Most companies would be able to bring out a new product, such as the iPad, without having half their product line fall into obsolesence -- their PowerMacs are now over a year old, and MacBook Pros are 10 months old. And as for search engines, have you tried the iTunes/App Store? It pales in comparison to what Amazon had 10 years ago; it is the main reason why apps see sales drop-offs that are at the very extreme end of a common phenomena. (It's also why, even as an App developer, I shop at Amazon and only go to iTunes occasionally for a price check. I actually don't buy apps because the store is so painfully useless.)

    Apple's scope is very limited, their expertise is definitely not in search engines, and they have so far shown little interest in data-mining their customers -- it would seem beneath them in its most common usage. In short, there's very little reason to believe Jobs has any interest in pursuing it, much less that they'd be able to spare their focus on other things to work on it. They might slap together something as an off-hand type of thing, sure.

    • Re:Dubious (Score:5, Interesting)

      by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:22PM (#31726654) Homepage

      I think that's really key. Whilst the iPhone was in development OS X stagnated, managing only a bugfix/performance release that in fact managed to introduce quite some new bugs that weren't in 10.5. Whilst the iPad has been in development, what happened with the iPhone? MobileMe? Even iTunes? Answer: not a whole lot.

      Jobs claims he doesn't want to return some of Apples enormous cash pile to investors because he wants to do bold new things with it. Like what? Has Apple been using its cash pile to aggressively hire? If so I haven't seen much evidence of it. Facebook has been emailing people left and right to get interview candidates for example, but I didn't yet hear of anyone getting a letter from Apple recruiting (or maybe they did but they aren't allowed to talk about it, hah).

      If Apple are really planning on doing their own maps or search engine (I doubt it) they'll need to show they can focus on more than one thing at once. Releasing a bunch of major new features for iPhone and MacOS X simultaneously would be a good start. Demonstrating some progress with iWork beyond an iPad port would also get attention.

  • Change the game! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lemming Mark (849014) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:11PM (#31726578) Homepage

    Apple does well when they change the game, rather than simply trying to win a race on somebody else's terms. They also seem to have a good understanding of where their own strengths lie. I can't see them trying to compete head-on with Google but if they can find a way to make Google's strengths less relevant then I can see them doing that. That said, it's not like Apple doesn't have a few flops / vanity projects under its belt and it is sometimes seen as a company that would potentially set business decisions based on personal feeling. Their compass on business decisions is fairly good overall though, even though I'm not at all keen on the direction they want to take the industry.

    • Arguably what I said was basically the flip side of what Angst Badger has posted above, describing why head-to-head competition in search would not appear to be a good plan for Apple: http://search.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1606786&cid=31726544 [slashdot.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Well how Apple does that, often enough, is that they aim at existing technology that's poorly executed or has a poorly thought out user interaction and smoothing out some of the ugly edges. I'm not sure how they would do that here. Google search doesn't really have ugly edges in need of smoothing.

      I could see Apple trying to take on Google Docs, Gmail, Google Voice, or almost any of Google's other projects, but I'm not sure how you take "type stuff in, hit enter, and get a list of sites in response" and m

      • Maybe (and I shudder as I say this) finding a way of supplying some of the more common search needs through channels that they control, rather than having people go out into the unruly and unstructured internet. They can't improve on Google's UI as such but maybe they can "improve" on the directedness of the search contents.

        I still think the open approach wins out in the end since it's more powerful and gains more network effects - but Apple generally do very well at producing a comparatively locked-down s

  • From TFA:

    An account posted on the Daring Fireball blog says the precise quote was "teams at Google want to kill us," specifically Google's Android team.

    And yet most of the Google Android team folks probably use Macs. No, I'm not buying this. Perhaps they want to have their share of the big cellphone pie, but this was a clear exaggeration.

  • This isn't about taking market share away from Google, or Bing, or whatever; it's keeping Google out of what Apple views as an increasingly important source of market research. Right now, every natural search performed on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad goes through Google - so Google can view that data and use it to refine/improve/develop their own competing smartphone OS. By further locking in users to their own search engine, Apple effectively closes the pipeline of free research to Google - unless users expl
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Or it could be some blowhard speculating on what Apple is "70% assured" of doing - ie, total nonsense.

  • iSearch.com (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AndGodSed (968378) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:20PM (#31726646) Homepage Journal

    Seems someone was smart enough to register isearch.com...

    Registrant:
          Intelius
          500 108th Ave NE
          Bellevue, Washington 98004
          United States

          Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
          Domain Name: ISEARCH.COM
                Created on: 05-Oct-95
                Expires on: 04-Oct-10
                Last Updated on: 06-Sep-09

          Administrative Contact:
                Inc, Intelius dnsadmin@intelius.com
                Intelius
                500 108th Ave NE
                Bellevue, Washington 98004
                United States
                +1.4254546200

          Technical Contact:
                Inc, Intelius dnsadmin@intelius.com
                Intelius
                500 108th Ave NE
                Bellevue, Washington 98004
                United States
                +1.4254546200

          Domain servers in listed order:
                NS3.INTELIUS.COM
                NS2.INTELIUS.COM
                NS1.INTELIUS.COM

    ... in 1995... before Apple started using the "i" moniker...

    BUT there may be some others available...

    for i in co.uk net org tv co.nz cm cn tw me ru; do host isearch.$i; done
    isearch.co.uk has address 89.234.20.148
    isearch.co.uk mail is handled by 10 mail.isearch.co.uk.
    connection timed out; no servers could be reached
    isearch.org has address 64.95.64.198
    isearch.org mail is handled by 0 dev.null.
    isearch.tv has address 69.64.147.243
    isearch.tv mail is handled by 10 p.nsm.ctmail.com.
    Host isearch.co.nz not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
    Host isearch.cm not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
    isearch.cn is an alias for park.goldenname.com.
    park.goldenname.com has address 75.125.148.76
    isearch.tw has address 202.65.208.187
    isearch.tw mail is handled by 0 smtp.secureserver.net.
    isearch.tw mail is handled by 10 mailstore1.secureserver.net.
    isearch.me has address 68.178.232.143
    isearch.me has IPv6 address ::1
    isearch.me mail is handled by 0 smtp.secureserver.net.
    isearch.me mail is handled by 10 mailstore1.secureserver.net.
    isearch.ru has address 82.146.40.149
    isearch.ru mail is handled by 10 mail.isearch.ru.
    isearch.ru mail is handled by 20 mail.isearch.ru.

    yikes, even based on this short list I drew up from memory the isearch domain name is hot!

    • yikes, even based on this short list I drew up from memory the isearch domain name is hot!

      you memorize things like "connection timed out; no servers could be reached"?

  • I'd forgotten they even existed. I just gave 'em another try. I have a slightly obscure search I've had only indifferent results on with Google; about fifty hits, none quite the one I want. I gave Bing a try, and was gratified to find about the same number of hits but far from total overlap, and Bing gave me a few useful results Google hadn't given me.

    Cuil? Zero hits, zip, none, nada.

  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3&phroggy,com> on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:28PM (#31726700) Homepage

    The data generated on the iPhone OS platform must become an increasing priority for Apple and we believe the company has the resources to develop its own products in both maps and search in the next five years

    Why must it become an increasing priority for Apple? Because it's a high priority for other popular companies, and Apple needs to catch up to Google and Microsoft if it wants to remain trendy? Because raking in cash hand over fist from the sale of shiny new hardware isn't adequate; they need to start datamining too?

    Traditionally, Apple has entered markets where the existing offerings sucked ass. When Apple introduced the Macintosh, WYSIWYG text editing was unheard of. When Apple introduced iTunes, nobody had a single app that could "Rip, Mix, Burn." When Apple introduced the iPod, existing portable MP3 players were difficult to use. When Apple introduced the iTunes Store, existing online music stores used cumbersome and intrusive DRM that wasn't Mac-compatible. When Apple introduced the iPhone, most people didn't browse the web on their cell phone, not because it was impossible, but because it was so awkward that it wasn't worth the effort. When Apple introduced Safari, it's because the best browser for the Mac at that point was Internet Explorer, which was already at the end of its life. When Apple introduced Keynote, it's because the visual presentations that Steve Jobs likes to do just can't be done in PowerPoint.

    If Apple thinks they can do something that's so far above and beyond the capabilities of Google Search and Google Maps, they'll do it. If Apple thinks they can do something that sort of approaches the usability of Google's offerings and might be an adequate alternative, but isn't really mind-blowing and revolutionary, there's no way in hell.

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Firefox was around at the time Safari was released, as was a Mac-native (ie, Aqua UI) version called.... I forget now ... phoenix, chimera, something like that (had to keep changing the name). Apple's concern was that they had no bundled browser, other than the obsolete IE5, so they either had to roll their own or go with Firefox - as it turns out, they went for KHTML rather than Gecko.

      I really don;t think they will get into search though - the article reads like a marketing company desperate for some page

  • by astrashe (7452) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:31PM (#31726726) Journal

    I wish Apple would open a hamburger stand.

    I sure could use an insanely great cheeseburger right now.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    USER - search "{any song}"
    RESPONSE - "You don't really want to search for that. It' hasn't been approved in iTunes. Here's what you want : {results}"

  • Before we all set our collective hair on fire, if this does actually turn out to be the case and it's not a complete dud, then the value of consumer information as a commodity is going to increase and finally be recognised.

    IMHO, this will only lead to:

    1. better return for the information that's gleaned from our consumer habits
    2. better protection for our individual privacy

    • How will this lead to better protection for our privacy? I must have missed something. Especially since the basis of all of this is to "glean" mobile search information.
  • Me thinks Apple is getting a bit greedy with their ever-closing grip on their users. What's next? An Apple version of the Internet for their jailed iphone users? I suppose another search option is not a bad thing, as long as it really is just an option...
    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Apple are not getting greedy. Some analyst says "they will do this" and suddenly Apple is getting greedy?

    • by RobVB (1566105)

      The possibility of the "Apple search engine" being an option never even entered my head.

      Maybe I'm just being cynical.

      We'll see.

  • by $RANDOMLUSER (804576) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:42PM (#31726808)
    I don't see how this would be useful - an Apple search engine would only return ONE result.
  • by jeffehobbs (419930) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @04:49PM (#31726872) Homepage

    This is the same guy [google.com] who says Apple is going to put out an HDTV, too.

    He's like a stopped clock that tweets two times a day -- everyone should stop paying any attention to him. Just don't look! [kottke.org]

  • by koan (80826)

    Sounds like the wrong reason to build a search engine "hey this is valuable data lets make our own proprietary system so we can profit and to keep the data away from google"

  • a.k.a. CompuServ 2.0 ?

    • by toriver (11308)

      No, that was MSN's first incarnation, when Microsoft thought they should provide an alternative to this "Internet" fad.

  • The guys at Apple undoubtedly know that they could just buy this information all neatly sorted and packaged from Google for much, much less than it'd cost to capture it themselves.

    Any talk of "competitive advantage" from being able to see what smartphone users search for is overrated. This is a market where things change quickly; look at your cell carrier's current crop of offerings and you'll see phones with capabilities that weren't common or even available a year or two ago. Most important: this informa

  • This may be what some people want in their search services, but most people don't. Most people will want the good the bad and the ugly; not just what Apple approves of.

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @05:21PM (#31727102)

    when we start hearing that Apple created search too.

  • Apple stores so they can be the first to buy Apple's iSearch product.

  • by gig (78408) on Sunday April 04, 2010 @06:21PM (#31727496)

    I'm tired of Google's 10 obfuscated links per query. You have to do a lot of mental calculation to determine if that's the link you want in many cases. It's actually really opaque. Apple would create a search engine for consumers and make it a much better experience. Guaranteed they would come in with some kind of twist that make Google Search look like a hand-cranked antique. They would likely also leverage their very extensive video knowledge (not just selling in iTunes, but also QuickTime, which is like the Unix of video creation) so that you could find video effectively. They might even promote it as being for users who want to find video.

    Apple's Spotlight client search is much better than what you find on other platforms, so it isn't like they're starting from scratch. And iTunes has its own built-in search engine. A Web index is really just expanding their search.

    Google's weakness is that they're all Ph.D computer nerds and most consumers are not. That's why you see that Android is used overwhelmingly by computer nerds. Google has almost no designers and artists. Ask yourself why the 10 results don't show me a little thumbnail of the page, even if that comes in after the results, that would be much more helpful in a lot of cases. Why isn't there an option at least to turn that on? Apple's search would likely be very, very graphical.

    If you remember the flap recently where people were trying to login to Facebook from a page that was not Facebook but was the #1 Google result for "Facebook login" then realize that is a Google Fail right there. That is people just typing words in and taking the first result. They're not even pressing "I'm feeling lucky" which would take them right there, they're going to the 10 results and just picking the top one without reading. I've seen this behavior again and again when training users. That's how most people "use" Google. They barely scratch the surface. Apple doesn't have to compete with the whole thing, just that surface 0.01% that most users are using.

    Google is vulnerable on privacy with Eric Schmidt recently saying you don't have any, and with them turning on Buzz the way they did. In the same way that Apple doesn't have to make very much money on iTunes Store (because it sells devices that they make money on) they don't have to make very much money in search and ads. They can out-privacy Google easily.

    Google is vulnerable on copyright, where they recently pissed off every book author in the world, just as Apple is opening a bookstore.

    AdWords is great but it's a lot of work for the advertiser. Apple's customers are a very desirable demographic. If they can make an ad platform that lets you reach Apple users for less work and less money than AdWords, many people would be very interested in that. Only 1 in 10 PC's is a Mac, but 9 out of 10 high-end PC's is a Mac. What if there was some link to Apple's credit card database, so that if a user comes in to your site via an ad on Apple's search engine, they can pay with their iTunes account?

    Google is obviously just searching the Web. Apple can offer the iTunes Store, their native app platforms, for example, enabling you to find something in the print/iPad edition of TIME. They could even do some kind of peer-to-peer from their client platforms, where you find what you're looking for in the public folder of somebody else's Mac. Which every Mac already has. The Web is the common space of the digital world, not the whole digital world.

    And Apple has a higher market cap and more money in the bank than Google. You can't dismiss it when any company that is bigger than you comes into your space. When that company is on such a roll that people who want to knock them point to the Power Mac G4 Cube as their awesome failure, that is really something to be concerned with. The Cube predates the iPod that is so long ago, and it was a profitable product (although not very) and it enjoyed a very loyal and even cult following even years after they stopped making it. Many companies would love to

  • by X.25 (255792)

    So, the point of this "article" is to advertise 2 unknown search engines?

    Thanks Slashdot, I don't know what I'd do if I didn't read this.

  • For phones and even MobileMe, Apple can get away with that because they really don't need the volume. For delivering good search results, they need a huge search volume and an army of Ph.D.'s and search quality experts, and they have none of those.

    Apple should worry more about bringing iPhone OS up to snuff, because it is already getting long in the tooth and falling more and more behind Android.

  • this is what it is. the breakpoint. if, in all their arrogance, apple lock down their users to a search engine less capable than google, it will wake up its users. gone will be the 'hip'.

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