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Oppenheimer: Bing deal could bring Apple more risk than reward

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 
A new analysis suggests an Apple-Microsoft deal to bring Bing search to the iPhone could carry great risks for Apple, which has formed an identity by disparaging the Windows platform in its "Get a Mac" ads.

A team of analysts from Oppenheimer offered their insight in a research note to investors Wednesday. Breaking down the implications of a Bing search agreement between Apple and Microsoft, the analysis was provided in response to an earlier report alleging that the two rivals are currently in talks to replace Google as the primary search provider for the iPhone, as well as the Safari browser.

Analyst Yair Reiner said the battle lines have been drawn between Apple and Google, though "overt warfare" between the two companies has yet to erupt. He said that the companies are at odds because Apple seeks to be the "special box in a world of generic services," while Google aims to become the "special service in a world of generic boxes." Now, it's possible, Apple's enemy in Microsoft could become its friend with a Bing partnership.

"Cozying up (to Microsoft) could bring more risk than reward, not least because it would clash with the Mac vs. PC campaign and the Apple brand identity that has coalesced around it," Reiner wrote.

For Google, such a deal would be negative in the long-term, but shouldn't come as a surprise to those who watch the technology industry. Analyst Jason Helfstein said users will likely still be able to change the default settings on their device, or download the Google Apps software.

As for AT&T, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the U.S., analyst Tim Horan said the discussion serves to highlight the loss of control the wireless provider has over its customer base, thanks to Apple and the iPhone. AT&T is on the losing end because it does not receive any of the revenue associated with software on the App Store, yet is the use of many of those applications that has resulted in poor network quality.

"We believe this will intensify the service providers' promotion of alternative handset suppliers and their own applications market," Horan wrote. "We would expect the service providers to work more intensively with Google, Nokia, RIM etc. to create devices that are comparable to the iPhone, but this will take some time."

Microsoft analyst Brad Reback with Oppenheimer said Microsoft's desire to grow the Bing brand and increase its market share by any means indicates the Redmond, Wash., company would be willing to strike a deal with Apple for the right price. He noted that Microsoft has already released a Bing application for the iPhone.

"We believe (Microsoft) will not grossly overpay so as to negatively impact the future profitability from such a deal," Reback said. "As a reminder, MSFT recently replaced (Google) as (Verizon's) default search engine in a five-year deal estimated to be worth $500M."

Speculation of a potential Apple deal for Bing has arisen in the past, due to the growing tension between the iPhone maker and Google. Some have speculated that Apple could look to remove Google's presence entirely from its devices.

While Apple's non-acceptance of the Google Voice application into the App Store highlighted the differences between the two companies, it could be a sign of things to come. Last year, Apple revealed it was looking to hire someone to create a new and improved Maps application for the iPhone. The current mapping software is powered by Google.

Combined with Apple's purchase of Google Maps competitor Placebase last summer, there remains ongoing chatter that a new Maps application created by Apple could appear in a forthcoming update to the iPhone operating system.
post #2 of 128
Search is search, as long as the end user gets decent results and can get to what it is they are looking for, I don't see the bi(n)g deal. Chill out---besides the Bing! app itself is nice and there is a Google app if their is that much concern. Common sense should prevail here.
post #3 of 128
Whether there is any truth to this rumor or not.. It sure is giving Microsoft's Bing a lot of free publicity..
post #4 of 128
This guy Reiner is clueless. I say good for apple, and the world if someone can put and end to google's dominance, their dictatorship over who appears and who doesn't on the web. If it has to be bing (what a name....tststst...) so be it, although I would go with yahoo, and altavista specifically.
post #5 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new analysis suggests a Apple-Microsoft deal to bring Bing search to the iPhone could carry great risks for Apple, which has formed an identity by disparaging the Windows platform in its "Get a Mac" ads.

...

"Cozying up (to Microsoft) could bring more risk than reward, not least because it would clash with the Mac vs. PC campaign and the Apple brand identity that has coalesced around it," Reiner wrote.

Apple would risk clashing with its brand identity? I fail to see how. If that were the case, why does Apple continue to offer Office for Mac (when Apple itself offers iWork) and Boot Camp to run Windows (when Apple itself offers OS X) for its products? Partnering with Microsoft to bring Bing (an internet search engine) to the iPhone pails in comparison to the two aforementioned capabilities.
post #6 of 128
I don't want a new map application! I like google's mapping software. I don't want to be forced into changing!
post #7 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by iReality85 View Post

Apple would risk clashing with its brand identity? I fail to see how. If that were the case, why does Apple continue to offer Office for Mac (when Apple itself offers iWork) and Boot Camp to run Windows (when Apple itself offers OS X) for its products? Partnering with Microsoft to bring Bing (an internet search engine) to the iPhone pails in comparison to the two aforementioned capabilities.

I agree 100%. They already work with microsoft so it's not THAT big of a deal, although when you buy a stock mac you don't see any microsoft logos anywhere, whereas a stock iphone would have bing right there in safari (and the iphones superior mobile browser is a big selling point to a lot of people)
post #8 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblenio View Post

I don't want a new map application! I like google's mapping software. I don't want to be forced into changing!

I'd rather have their new turn by turn nav app on the iphone.
post #9 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by dphayes77 View Post

Search is search, as long as the end user gets decent results and can get to what it is they are looking for, I don't see the bi(n)g deal. Chill out---besides the Bing! app itself is nice and there is a Google app if their is that much concern. Common sense should prevail here.

I agree that people are getting their panties in a twist over nothing here, but not with your assessment of Bing.

Personally, I don't know any one who searches from that impossibly small, useless field in the mobile Safari bar and I'd think it a bonus to the UI if it was removed. If you want to search on the iPhone, the Google app is far better for the purpose and seamlessly passes control over to Safari once the search is done. Dedicated apps for search (not the browser), are definitely the best way to go on mobiles.

The Bing app is already available so all we are talking about here is Microsoft being added to the list of search providers in mobile Safari and maybe being the default when you first fire up the phone. Who cares really?

Who "wins" in mobile search on the iPhone will ultimately come down to who has the best app and despite the bad design of the Google app in some respects, Bings app is far stupider and harder to use effectively IMO. If Google can give the best search results, and keep on top with the best search app, they don't have anything to worry about at all. It's Microsoft that will end up paying through the nose for a position on the iPhone that won't really do them much good beyond growing a bit of brand recognition.
post #10 of 128
Apple should just make their own search engine if they don't like using Google because of their rivalry. They should definatly not turn to microsoft.
post #11 of 128
The analysis is nonsense; clearly a Google-inspired plant to counteract the obviously Apple-planted rumour.

Its just games. Apple wants Google to know that they are seriously pissed and no longer BFF's
post #12 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

The analysis is nonsense; clearly a Google-inspired plant to counteract the obviously Apple-planted rumour.

Its just games. Apple wants Google to know that they are seriously pissed and no longer BFF's

and they want their cd's back.
post #13 of 128
If Verizon signed a contract with Microsoft, does that mean if they are to bring the iPhone to their network, it would be obligated to use Bing? Perhaps this is the reason for this discussion? Google could remain the default on AT&T and everywhere else in the world.

On the other hand, I don't think Version WebOS or Android devices are forced to use Bing, right? (disclaimer: i'm Canadian, so I have no clue)
post #14 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by jblenio View Post

I don't want a new map application! I like google's mapping software. I don't want to be forced into changing!

The iPhone's Maps applications is made by Apple. Google merely delivers the content. There's no mention of Google inside the app. One could imagine the same happening with Search in Safari. Google search will turn into Apple Search, with MS delivering the content.
post #15 of 128
I seriously don't want "BING" anywhere near my iphone, to be honest it's not even enough to be able to set another search as default like it is now, I just don't want it on my iphone.
post #16 of 128
Apple treated us to Google for all these years, until Google came out with a competing mobile phone OS and hardware...

Now Apple is in talks with Bing...

What will Apple do when Microsoft announces their version of a competing phone OS and hardware like they did with Zune, regardless of how much of a failure that was or not?

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post #17 of 128
I certainly hope it's not true. Sure, Google is turning into a Microsoft, but just the thought of Jobs and Balmer in talks makes me cringe.

Maybe they should use Yahoo? ;-)
post #18 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Cozying up (to Microsoft) could bring more risk than reward, not least because it would clash with the Mac vs. PC campaign and the Apple brand identity that has coalesced around it," Reiner wrote.

Uh, ever heard of Microsoft Office for the Mac? It's almost always on the front page of Shop Mac area of the online Apple Store.

Reiner makes no sense. How would Bing clash with the Mac vs. PC campaign and the Apple brand identity, when Microsoft Office doesn't?
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post #19 of 128
If it's coming from an analyst, I have no doubt they feel that by starting this rumor, they can manipulate the stock market and get some free cash from Apple's stock... by shorting it Rinse and repeat.
post #20 of 128
Haven't been all that pleased with my Bing dealings so far. Search engines all get you to the same place, but the subtle tweaks make all the difference.
post #21 of 128
Yea, i think Apple should just stick to Google. Bing sucks, its not any different than the Live.com search. They just slapped a new name on it. Its still the same sucky search engine. Apple should stick with Google or make their own search engine.
post #22 of 128
"AT&T is on the losing end because it does not receive any of the revenue associated with software on the App Store, yet is the use of many of those applications that has resulted in poor network quality."

So AT&T will just have to take it's monthly subscription fee, not upgrade thier network and be happy with it. This is the most disengenuous statement I've heard in a while.
Talk about double dipping.
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post #23 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark2005 View Post

Uh, ever heard of Microsoft Office for the Mac? It's almost always on the front page of Shop Mac area of the online Apple Store.

Reiner makes no sense. How would Bing clash with the Mac vs. PC campaign and the Apple brand identity, when Microsoft Office doesn't?

Thats true, i see your point.
post #24 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I agree that people are getting their panties in a twist over nothing here, but not with your assessment of Bing.

Personally, I don't know any one who searches from that impossibly small, useless field in the mobile Safari bar and I'd think it a bonus to the UI if it was removed. If you want to search on the iPhone, the Google app is far better for the purpose and seamlessly passes control over to Safari once the search is done. Dedicated apps for search (not the browser), are definitely the best way to go on mobiles.

The Bing app is already available so all we are talking about here is Microsoft being added to the list of search providers in mobile Safari and maybe being the default when you first fire up the phone. Who cares really?

Who "wins" in mobile search on the iPhone will ultimately come down to who has the best app and despite the bad design of the Google app in some respects, Bings app is far stupider and harder to use effectively IMO. If Google can give the best search results, and keep on top with the best search app, they don't have anything to worry about at all. It's Microsoft that will end up paying through the nose for a position on the iPhone that won't really do them much good beyond growing a bit of brand recognition.

A separate app for searching the web, what's wrong with the UI of mobile safari?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bartfat View Post

If it's coming from an analyst, I have no doubt they feel that by starting this rumor, they can manipulate the stock market and get some free cash from Apple's stock... by shorting it Rinse and repeat.

Amen
post #25 of 128
It's a rumour, people.

Besides, the last company I'd expect to make any kind of boneheaded move is Apple.
post #26 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

It's a rumour, people.

Besides, the last company I'd expect to make any kind of boneheaded move is Apple.

True dat. Apple isn't stupid. They'll make the smart move like they always do.
post #27 of 128
Heh, it depends on what you think Apple trades against being proud of having created nice ads.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #28 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalxEdward View Post

I'd rather have their new turn by turn nav app on the iphone.

How can you say that without knowing what the alternative is like.
post #29 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivan.rnn01 View Post

Heh, it depends on what do you thing Apple trades against being proud of having created nice ads.

I don't understand what your saying. lol
post #30 of 128
What's the real threat from Google?

Apple has been wildly successful delivering premium products and Google's whole existence is predicated on free services that push search ads.

Who cares if Google has Android? It seems to be racing against itself to fall into the Windows Mobile trap - with dozens of slightly different OS versions and hardware configurations in the wild, snapping up niches to be sure, but not offering a compelling 'switch' case to Apple's core market.

Who cares if Google has Chrome? It's, once again, aimed directly at commodity hardware and the internet. It's not going to offer the integrated, consistent experience that Apple creates and sells for a premium. And Google's not going to be nearly as strict with its suppliers as Apple, leading to many of the same inconsistent performance and expectation problems of the Windows market. These are core features to Apple's market and they're not going to leave for Chrome any more than they'll leave for Windows 7.

I bet the Google/Apple 'split' -- evidenced by nothing more than Schmidt leaving Apple's board -- had far more to do with the FTC investigation than any rift or rivalry. The Google Voice thing is a red herring. Google Voice has reliability issues. It mucks up expectations (see: SMS/MMS routing). Did the relationship chill, or did Apple simply not want to see the press filled with people blaming Apple for the slightly-kludgy system and inconsistent performance?
post #31 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


Personally, I don't know any one who searches from that impossibly small, useless field in the mobile Safari bar

Everyone I know uses that field perfectly well, as I would guess 95% of iPhone users do.
post #32 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam_Apple View Post

I don't understand what your saying. lol

Basically, my saying meant they wouldn't cut janitor jobs at MacDonald's.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #33 of 128
What would make more sense is making Bing the default search, but offering an easy option to set whatever search you would like in the settings (Google, Ask, Yahoo, etc.). It would be too abrupt to just oust Google outright.
post #34 of 128
I think people are too quick to rule out Apple creating their own search engine.

Maybe not now, but as a long term strategy it makes sense.
post #35 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

A separate app for searching the web, what's wrong with the UI of mobile safari? ...

A dedicated app is always going to be better. Voice search is one of the obvious advantages. It's also just plain faster to hit the Google button than it is to launch Safari, and then find the tiny search field with your finger.
post #36 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by fabsgwu View Post

What would make more sense is making Bing the default search, but offering an easy option to set whatever search you would like in the settings (Google, Ask, Yahoo, etc.). It would be too abrupt to just oust Google outright.

Settings >Safari> Search Provider.

already there, always has been.
post #37 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new analysis suggests a Apple-Microsoft deal...

Typo - an Apple ...
sorry but it jumped out and hit me right between the eyes.
post #38 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by dphayes77 View Post

Search is search, as long as the end user gets decent results and can get to what it is they are looking for, I don't see the bi(n)g deal.

You're wrong. Anyway, it's not true.
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post #39 of 128
Besides the fact that Bing coming from MS, it is by far inferior technology (compare to Google). I can not see Apple in right mind forcing all iPhone users to use something which is not best of the best ( and is not coming from Apple ). I do hope that all this hubbub is abut iPhone OS 4.0 adding Bing as one of choices of Search Engines.

Andrei
post #40 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

Everyone I know uses that field perfectly well, as I would guess 95% of iPhone users do.

Agreed. I had to laugh when I saw that.

Using the Google App you:
Exit out of safari
Find the Google app and open it
Type in your query and then wait for safari to open your result on a new tab

Besides the irritation of having to close safari to search with the Google app, you then end up with umpteen tabs open. It's just a hassle when I just need to look up some trivial fact or location.

I don't know anyone who doesn't use the built in Safari UI search field and I never end up doing a single search. There are always multiple searches, meaning I would have to wash, rinse, and repeat.
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