A new report suggests that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is actively pursuing Apple to end its mobile devices’ reliance on Google search.
Google is the default search engine on Apple’s mobile devices. Users can change it to Bing or Yahoo through the Settings app but most never bother. After all, when you want to search something online, you probably “Google it.”
There is no doubt in the fact that Google is the most widely used and well known online search engine. The company has taken a lot of steps to ensure that users get the best and most relevant results to their search queries. That quality and consumer experience is what gives it leverage. Re/code hears from Yahoo insiders who say that it will be tough to convince Apple to drop Google because of the latter’s focus on consumer experience being top-notch. Though the sources also say that “Marissa wants it very badly.”
According to the report Marissa Mayer and Adam Cahan, the SVP of mobile and emerging products, are both spearheading this initiative. Apparently they have created detailed presentations, including images, of what a search product developed exclusively for iOS would look like. The top executives hope to present them to Apple’s senior management and reportedly that has not happened as yet. Though Mayer is said to have spoken with several Apple executives about this possibility personally, including the powerful SVP of design, Jony Ive.
This isn’t the first time that Mayer has displayed a willingness to clash with Google, a company where she worked for a long time. There have already been countless rumors of Yahoo building its very own YouTube rival. A recent report suggested that its even luring popular YouTube users with promises of better ad rates. With Yahoo set to rake in billions following Alibaba’s IPO later this year it is expected that the company will pour this money into radically improving Yahoo search. Mayer might be aiming to build upon the existing relationship Yahoo has with Apple. It is already the default source for stocks and weather data on iOS devices.
It all comes down to technology. Google is far ahead in search and Yahoo will need to put in a lot of time and resources to get to that level. The company will have to build adequate technology to show Apple that it can really truly give Google a run for its money. Sources suggest that Apple won’t consider dumping Google until a comparable alternative is available. When there is one then it might not hesitate. Over the past few years Apple has removed the native YouTube application from iOS and has even dumped Google Maps in favor of its own.
If Yahoo is able to replace Google as the default search engine on iOS devices it will effectively open up a lucrative revenue stream that can inject new life in the company’s financials. It may very well be an ambitious plan but its certainly not impossible.