For years, Apple’s Safari browser has used Google as the default search when users search on either their iPhone or iPad. Under Marissa Mayer, Yahoo is looking to make an agressive pitch to Apple to change the default mobile search in Safari from Google to Yahoo. According to re/code, Yahoo is looking to display advertising to boost earnings. With mobile search becoming increasingly important, landing the default position in iOS would be a big coup for Mayer and Yahoo.
Sources claim that both CEO Marissa Mayer and Adam Cahan, SVP of mobile and emerging products are overseeing what they hope will be big moves in search. One such move would be to convince Apple to ditch Google for Yahoo search. The company has prepared detailed presentations with images of what a default Yahoo search product would look like on the iPhone. While users can currently switch the default search provider from Google to either Bing or Yahoo, it’s not common. What Yahoo appears to be pitching is something different than what users see now using their existing search product. Re/Code quotes sources working on the project as saying:
“This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search. It will take more than pretty pictures, though, to convince Apple to give up Google, given its focus on consumer experience being top-notch. But Marissa wants it very badly.”
Yahoo current powers both the Stocks and Weather apps on the iPhone. In recent years, Apple has taken control of the Maps app, which is expected to see major upgrades in iOS 8. They’ve also removed YouTube, which had long been a default app on iOS. Sometime last year, Apple shifted to using Bing for Siri queries. Removing Google as the default search engine in iOS would be a major move, but one that might not come anytime soon. The plans mentioned are goals for Yahoo and might not align with what Apple wants for the future of mobile search on the iPhone.
Being the default search provider on iOS brings in billions in revenue. At what point does Apple decide they don’t want to line the pockets of a competitor? Then again, if user experience is most important, customers likely expect Google search when searching the web.