In the search space, Google is king and there’s really no denying it. Perhaps the closest competition to Google would be Microsoft’s Bing, although if these numbers from Statista are accurate, calling it “close” would be an exaggeration of the highest degree.
That being said, if another company like Apple were to enter the search space, would they be able to fare better than Microsoft? It turns out we could have almost found out the answer to that. In a recent report from Bloomberg, it seems that back in 2020, Microsoft entered into talks with Apple about the possibility of selling Bing.
This would have ultimately resulted in Bing replacing Google as the default search used in Apple’s products. An interesting thing to note is that from 2013 to 2017, Apple actually used Bing as the default search but later made the switch to Google. The report claims that these talks were only exploratory and never reached an advanced stage, meaning that it didn’t get to the point where Apple was seriously considering buying Bing and running its own search engine.
Also, it turns out that the deal offered by Google to remain the default search was simply too lucrative to ignore. For those wondering, it was estimated that in 2021, Google could pay Apple as much as $15 billion to remain the default search for iOS and macOS devices. This would certainly be more than what Apple could potentially bring in in terms of advertising revenue on Bing, which in 2021 was estimated to have generated $8.53 billion in advertising revenue.
Plus, if Apple had acquired Bing, it would also mean having to divert more resources into maintaining it, whereas this deal with Google would simply allow Apple to sit back and just rake in the cash.