Google quietly planned to put a lid on Apple’s search ambitions. The company looked for ways to undercut Spotlight by producing its own version for iPhones and to persuade more iPhone users to use Google’s Chrome web browser instead of Apple’s Safari browser, according to internal Google documents reviewed by The New York Times. At the same time, Google studied how to pry open Apple’s control of the iPhone by leveraging a new European law intended to help small companies compete with Big Tech.
Google’s anti-Apple plan illustrated the importance that its executives placed on maintaining dominance in the search business. It also provides insight into the company’s complex relationship with Apple, a competitor in consumer gadgets and software that has been an instrumental partner in Google’s mobile ads business for more than a decade.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and this is clear example of that – a rare case where Google’s means line up with consumers’ needs to actually own their devices, including the ability to install whatever browser (engine) one wants and set it as default on your phone.
That being said – seeing Google squirm over whatever Apple’s plans for its own possibly search engine are is highly entertaining and mildly satisfying. Apple switching iOS over to something other than Google will have some major fallout for the ad giant, and that alone would be fun to watch, in a let-it-burn kind of way.