Some might not realise this but whenever you use an iPhone or an iPad, Google is the default search engine for iOS. Whether it is on Spotlight or Safari’s address bar, iOS integrates Google whenever you need to search on the web.
According to a CNBC report, Google could be paying as much as US$3 billion this year just to maintain this arrangement on iOS. That’s a huge increase from US$1 billion paid to Apple 3 years ago.
You must be wondering, why is Google paying for something that people use for free? The short answer to that is search advertising. While the majority of smartphones today are running on Android, almost 50% of Google’s mobile search revenue is coming from iOS devices.
Google has the choice of backing away from this search engine licensing deal but they would need to consider their revenue impact if Apple suddenly decides to partner with a rival search engine. Overall, it is a win-win situation for both. Google gets a steady growth of traffic from iOS devices while Apple enjoys additional revenue parked under its services business.
Here’s something interesting. Apple uses Bing instead of Google as the default search engine for Siri. You can force Siri to use Google by mentioning “search on Google” or “search google for” in your command.
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