Apple Rumor Mill Working Overtime

    November 13, 2008
    Chris Crum

AppleMichael Arrington at TechCrunch asks if Apple is building a search engine, pretty much creating rumors and squashing them all within a few paragraphs. The story is interesting to note, though.

"At first glance, the rumors make sense," explains Arrington. "Apple’s Safari browser has 6-7% market share, and currently uses Google as the search engine for both the standard and iPhone/iPod versions (unlike other browsers, you don’t have a choice). They also have a suite of personal productivity tools through Mobile Me that bring some hard core users to their servers daily. All of that traffic and usage equates to a lot of searches, which can be monetized heavily."

Eric SchmidtHe also notes that Eric Schmidt often sits out Apple board meetings, and thinks he might be thinking about leaving. Google’s Android is also a direct competitor to the iPhone, which is bound to get under Apple’s skin (no pun intended). In closing his piece, Arrington says:

Here’s what we think is really going on: Apple doesn’t like the search experience on its mobile devices, and may be building a radically different user experience which is much more visual than exists today. It will likely still be powered by Google results, but Apple may present it in a very different way that suits mobile users much better. (emphasis added)

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal puts a whole different, but interesting spin on the whole matter.  What if Apple and Google grow apart?  Could that turn Apple into another potential suitor to Yahoo? Baker writes, "Yahoo OneSearch is a revolutionary local search tool with voice recognition and integrated local, movie and other advertising results; so its almost ready for the iPhone."

Yahoo!"Yahoo Search is also cutting edge, with open search branding & enhancement initiatives such as SearchMonkey, which could be easily integrated into the iPhone app store," adds Baker.

Ok. Let’s all take a deep breath and look at all of this for what it is. Rumor. Speculation. Fantasy? You have to wonder if Jerry Yang’s wheels are turning though. There might not be anything to any of this, but it’s all interesting to consider. The truth is that nobody knows what Apple is going to do besides Apple. All that the rest of us can do is stand idly by and observe what happens down the road. But, oh how the tech industry loves to gossip.