Rumours of an Apple search engine have been floating around for a few years now. Every so often the SEO industry gets excited and starts talking of an imminent search engine, possibly around Siri.
An Apple search engine makes a lot of sense. In 2020 Apple sold a reported 194 million iPhones, 71 million iPads, 20 million Mac or MacBook, 110 million AirPods and 43 million Apple Watches, which accounts for a lot of potential searches. However, that traffic is earning the Cupertino Giant around $15bn from Google to be the default search engine on all Apple devices.
Equally, a true ‘voice’ search engine built around Siri could be a possibility, even if we’re aren’t totally sold on the efficency of Siri responses.
In our 2022 predictions, published this time last year, we thought a ‘voice first’ Apple search engine could be imminent. However, a report from The Information suggests an Apple search engine could be at least 4 years away. Much of the buzz, about a new search engine came from the 2018 acquihire, by Apple, of news/recommendation startup Laserlike. As part of this deal, Laserlike cofounder Srinivasan Venkatachary joined as senior director for Apple’s search team, helping manage at least 200 employees which was seen as an indication of future search potential.
However, Venkatachary and his two other co-founders have moved to Google effectively stalling any imminent launch of a search engine. This could give Apple time to further improve Siri voice recognition, as it is rolled out into more Apple products including Apple TV.
4 Years is a long time in search, just ask any of our team! It offers plenty of time for Google to evolve its growing portfolio of Mountain View services that are influencing organic search results, including Google Business Profiles, Reviews, YouTube, Maps and more.