Some of us are Android users, and some of us are iOS users. Some work on a tab, some on a Macbook, and some others on a Windows PC. However, the one thing that binds us all, irrespective of the platform we use, is that we all (or at least most of us) use Google to search the web.
If this almost all-pervading presence of Google wasn’t enough, they’re not done with us yet. Recent reports claim that the company has paid a huge sum to Apple to make them the default search engine on iOS.
“The search giant paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep its search bar on iOS devices, according to a Bloomberg examination of a court transcript from Oracle’s long-running copyright lawsuit against Google.” reports CNET.
An attorney for Oracle further clarified that, “… the payout was part of a revenue-sharing agreement between the two companies that gives Apple a percentage of the revenue that Google generates through Apple devices.”
The deal is a clear indication of how important it is for Google to maintain some face-time (pun intended) with its customers. So important, in fact, that it is willing to pay billions of dollar to its arch rival from the mobile OS industry!
The Google Search Bar is a default option on all Android devices right out of the box. But having that option on iOS also means that Google becomes the de facto search engine of almost 96% of all smartphones out there. That’s a huge market share, no matter how you look at it. Some economic purists will go so far as to say that that’s no longer a market share, it’s a monopoly!
However, we would like to point out that Google is doing quite well on its own and it doesn’t really need any help from Apple. Android’s overwhelming market share (82.8%) is proof of that. iOS may be the second largest user base, but it’s still way behind at only 13.9% market share. But then Apple has gained 2 percent since last year. And guess where those points came from? Why, from Android of course!
It is clear that Android is ahead, but it is also equally clear that iOS is accelerating. And Google must definitely be wondering, “How long before that rise turns out to be a threat?” So maybe Google is paying Apple well in advance, ensuring that as the iOS numbers rise, so will Google’s.
Is Google merely covering all its bases, or is it a panic move? We’d like to think it is a combination of both. What do you think? Do let us know!