Apple's Eddy Cue says Google is default search engine because it is the best option

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 2023

Google and Apple may disagree on fundamental issues like user privacy, but SVP Eddy Cue sees Google Search as the only viable option.

Google is under investigation for antitrust
Google is under investigation for antitrust



More information surrounding Apple's and Google's deal to make Google Search the default on iPhone is coming to light. Google is undergoing an antitrust investigation with a public bench trial, and Apple SVP Eddy Cue is a witness.

According to a report on the public portion of the trial from The Verge, Eddy Cue defended Apple's choice to set Google as a default search engine, citing a few reasons why. First and foremost, Google was seemingly the only option and remains the only option for Apple.

"I always felt like it was in Google's best interest, and our best interest, to get a deal done," Cue argued when asked if it was possible for a search engine deal to have failed. "Certainly there wasn't a valid alternative to Google at the time."

Apple isn't interested in making its own search engine to compete with Google, and Cue apparently had trouble even remembering the alternatives available on iOS. It was also revealed that Apple and Google's agreement prevents showing alternative search engines during any setup process, though Cue wouldn't have it another way.

"We try to get people up and running as fast as possible," Cue said about the setup question. "We make Google be the default search engine because we've always thought it was the best. We pick the best one and let users easily change it."

Cue argues that Apple's approach to privacy enables users to search with some protection. Apple's agreement with Google won't allow Google to require users to log in, plus there are some protections against tracking in Safari.

"We've always thought we had better privacy than Google," Cue shared.

The court closed its doors to the public shortly after this testimony, as many secret documents are at play. The DOJ wants to examine if Google really is the best search engine or if its influence and financial incentives aid it.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,261member
    Eddy, you need to explore others, especially those that don't sell your email to everyone else.
    fotoformatAlex1NAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Maybe Eddie should try https://kagi.com/. Free from trackers and very clean and useful results. But he’d have to pay them instead of being ’motivated’ to call Google the best by a large transaction. 
    beowulfschmidtAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 20
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    I've been using DuckDuckGo for years, and my life hasn't changed much since giving up Google.
    sunman42arthurbafotoformatAlex1NAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Eddy, Eddy, Eddy…. DuckDuckGo is just great, and their default business model doesn’t involve slicing, dicing, and serving up your personal data, nor does it spoon feed you Alphabet-friendly results at the top of the results page. I have sworn off Google and all its minions, and haven’t sacrificed much of anything.
    fotoformatAlex1NAlex_V
  • Reply 5 of 20
    So next time Apple are negotiating the license fee for Google to be the default search engine, there is going to be a very awkward converstation.  
    Apple: $15B please
    Google: you said that you make Google the default search engine because we're the best, and we'd be the default search engine regardless, sooo why are we paying?
    Apple: ...
    Google: and if you don't keep us as the default search engine when we stop paying, then you're likely to face perjury charges
    Apple: ...
    Google: right then.  We've saved ourselves $15B

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/08/27/google-forecast-to-spend-15b-in-2021-to-remain-default-ios-search-engine

    But seriously I think this means Eddy Cue expects to be retired before the next negotiation.  With someone new in the drivers seat they can set a new 'strategic direction' which is hopefully along the lines of:

    Google: our contract to be the default search engine on iPhone is soon to expire, can we please re-negotiate:
    Apple: ...
    Google: it may have skipped your attention but our entire business model depends on your customers being directed by you to our web site
    Apple: ...
    Google: please reply to my earlier message:
    Apple: ...

    edited September 2023 Bart Ywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    LOL from the Trump school of what “perjury” does and doesn’t mean.

    arthurba said:
    So next time Apple are negotiating the license fee for Google to be the default search engine, there is going to be a very awkward converstation.  
    Apple: $15B please
    Google: you said that you make Google the default search engine because we're the best, and we'd be the default search engine regardless, sooo why are we paying?
    Apple: ...
    Google: and if you don't keep us as the default search engine when we stop paying, then you're likely to face perjury charges
    Apple: ...
    Google: right then.  We've saved ourselves $15B

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/08/27/google-forecast-to-spend-15b-in-2021-to-remain-default-ios-search-engine

    But seriously I think this means Eddy Cue expects to be retired before the next negotiation.  With someone new in the drivers seat they can set a new 'strategic direction' which is hopefully along the lines of:

    Google: our contract to be the default search engine on iPhone is soon to expire, can we please re-negotiate:
    Apple: ...
    Google: it may have skipped your attention but our entire business model depends on your customers being directed by you to our web site
    Apple: ...
    Google: please reply to my earlier message:
    Apple: ...


    beowulfschmidtFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    Bart YBart Y Posts: 67unconfirmed, member
    Google needs Apple and Apple user search access much more than Apple needs Google.  Sure, Google’s payments mean a lot to Apple’s Service revenues top and bottom lines, but $15-19B a year is nothing compared to how much ad revenue and data gathering Google would lose from not being default on iOS.  Even a 50% switch away to DDG, Bing, or other search engines would impact Google’s ad revenues severely.  
    edited September 2023 Alex1NAlex_Vwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,804member
    That's Eddy, right on cue.

    I wonder if he was able to say all that without laughing out loud. 

    His argument must be so full of holes that he just ran with it anyway. 

    In a way it reminded me of Microsoft proposing to pay an anti-trust fine by giving Windows PCs to schools! 


    muthuk_vanalingamAlex1NFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Google used to be the best.  Then they started prioritizing garbage paid for by advertisers in the search results rather than actual useful information.  Or making ads looks like search results.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,347member
    Google used to be the best.  Then they started prioritizing garbage paid for by advertisers in the search results rather than actual useful information.  Or making ads looks like search results.
    Have you been using Google. or basing the comment on some past experience?

    When I do a Google search for information I don't get disguised paid results. If there's a product involved the top line may be a marked as "Sponsored" horizontal row of photos and prices to products for sale, and with links to those sellers. Next down is generative results if available, which is definitely not sponsor paid. Then several links to pertinent websites, again none of them being paid results. After that I might get some clearly understood ad links. Or not. It depends on the topic.  Try a simple one for yourself: "What's the best Apple iPhone?"
    edited September 2023 muthuk_vanalingamAlex1N
  • Reply 11 of 20
    He's not wrong.
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Google just pays Apple the most $$$ for the privilege , hence why its the "best" option. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,347member
    Wasn't there a story here a few years ago claiming Microsoft had been invited to put in a bid for their browser placement? 

    EDIT: Yes there was
    https://searchengineland.com/report-google-apple-safari-search-deal-expiring-yahoo-bing-want-209711

    FWIW Microsoft's Bing still isn't seeing success and a new rumor of them bidding for search in Safari and Firefox is making the rounds. 
    edited September 2023
  • Reply 14 of 20
    "Best" should not be read as meaning merely "technically superior" - there are multiple reasons why Google's search was chosen, and pay to play is only one of them. Google has massive mindshare when it comes to search, meaning users see a familiar interface the first time they use iOS; while not as important today as, say, ten years ago, this is still a significant benefit for users (with a side benefit to Apple). Firewalls that work by whitelisting IP addresses are never going to block Google (not necessarily an issue for consumers, but in enterprise environments it's a possible stumbling block). I can't think of any more examples off the top of my head, but that doesn't mean there aren't several more that make good business sense for Apple, Google and iOS users.

    As long as the greenbacks benefits outweigh the drawbacks, Apple will feel satisfied with the current arrangement.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    AI will revolutionise search. No longer will we search for a topic for a link to a website that may or may not give us the answer, requiring us to read through mountains of text to arrive at one single nugget of information. Instead, AI will just give the answer:
    Q: How to do (something)? AI: Do it like this… 
    Q: How much is…? AI: X dollars.
    Q: Who is this person? AI: Here is their biography… 
    Q: What happened at that event? AI: This is the story of what happened… 
    Q: How to cook such and such. AI: Here is the recipe… 
    Q: Paint a picture of a green meadow in the early morning. AI: Here you are… 
    Etc. No more listed search results, thus no more sponsored listings, and hence Google’s entire business model is at risk.

    There is a good chance that another player will emerge (is emerging) to dominate AI search. I understand that Apple is also working on AI. Google’s days are numbered, unless they can seamlessly transition to AI and continue to dominate search.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,347member
    Alex_V said:
    AI will revolutionise search. No longer will we search for a topic for a link to a website that may or may not give us the answer, requiring us to read through mountains of text to arrive at one single nugget of information. Instead, AI will just give the answer:
    Q: How to do (something)? AI: Do it like this… 
    Q: How much is…? AI: X dollars.
    Q: Who is this person? AI: Here is their biography… 
    Q: What happened at that event? AI: This is the story of what happened… 
    Q: How to cook such and such. AI: Here is the recipe… 
    Q: Paint a picture of a green meadow in the early morning. AI: Here you are… 

    There is a good chance that another player will emerge (is emerging) to dominate AI search. I understand that Apple is also working on AI. Google’s days are numbered, unless they can seamlessly transition to AI and continue to dominate search. 

    You mean like Generative AI? 

    Alex_V said:
    Etc. No more listed search results, thus no more sponsored listings, and hence Google’s entire business model is at risk.


    It's cute how you think all this investment in AI will come free for you. If not-Google providers of said AI search service fail to profit, which means get more money back than they spend developing it, the players won't invest in it. Business is business. If there's no ad revenue then you would have to pay for the service with real money, right?
    edited September 2023
  • Reply 17 of 20
    gatorguy said:
    Alex_V said:
    AI will revolutionise search. No longer will we search for a topic for a link to a website that may or may not give us the answer, requiring us to read through mountains of text to arrive at one single nugget of information. Instead, AI will just give the answer:
    Q: How to do (something)? AI: Do it like this… 
    Q: How much is…? AI: X dollars.
    Q: Who is this person? AI: Here is their biography… 
    Q: What happened at that event? AI: This is the story of what happened… 
    Q: How to cook such and such. AI: Here is the recipe… 
    Q: Paint a picture of a green meadow in the early morning. AI: Here you are… 

    There is a good chance that another player will emerge (is emerging) to dominate AI search. I understand that Apple is also working on AI. Google’s days are numbered, unless they can seamlessly transition to AI and continue to dominate search. 

    You mean like Generative AI? 

    Alex_V said:
    Etc. No more listed search results, thus no more sponsored listings, and hence Google’s entire business model is at risk.


    It's cute how you think all this investment in AI will come free for you. If not-Google providers of said AI search service fail to profit, which means get more money back than they spend developing it, the players won't invest in it. Business is business. If there's no ad revenue then you would have to pay for the service with real money, right?
    Firstly, if you are are employed or paid directly or indirectly by Google, I think you should declare it. I’ve seen you make disingenuous arguments and obfuscations in this forum in favour of Google’s appalling form of surveillance capitalism. Maybe you don’t mind being spied on, but some of us do. I couldn’t give a rats ass about Google’s business. They aren’t a public good. They don’t have a right to exist. If AI kills Google — cool! I won’t shed any tears. 

    Also, I pay for many services, so I fail to see your point. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,347member
    Alex_V said:
    gatorguy said:
    Alex_V said:
    AI will revolutionise search. No longer will we search for a topic for a link to a website that may or may not give us the answer, requiring us to read through mountains of text to arrive at one single nugget of information. Instead, AI will just give the answer:
    Q: How to do (something)? AI: Do it like this… 
    Q: How much is…? AI: X dollars.
    Q: Who is this person? AI: Here is their biography… 
    Q: What happened at that event? AI: This is the story of what happened… 
    Q: How to cook such and such. AI: Here is the recipe… 
    Q: Paint a picture of a green meadow in the early morning. AI: Here you are… 

    There is a good chance that another player will emerge (is emerging) to dominate AI search. I understand that Apple is also working on AI. Google’s days are numbered, unless they can seamlessly transition to AI and continue to dominate search. 

    You mean like Generative AI? 

    Alex_V said:
    Etc. No more listed search results, thus no more sponsored listings, and hence Google’s entire business model is at risk.


    It's cute how you think all this investment in AI will come free for you. If not-Google providers of said AI search service fail to profit, which means get more money back than they spend developing it, the players won't invest in it. Business is business. If there's no ad revenue then you would have to pay for the service with real money, right?
    Firstly, if you are are employed or paid directly or indirectly by Google, I think you should declare it.
    I agree with you 100%. Notice I don't? 

    ...and when you identify a disingenuous statement from me call it out, just as I might call out you or someone else for dishonesty or obfuscation. So far you haven't identified anything.
    When someone makes something up, or simply doesn't know any better, it seems like the right thing is point it out for the sake of the discussion, if not the forum, but that's a problem for you?  Sorry, not sorry. 
    edited September 2023
  • Reply 19 of 20
    gatorguy said:
    I agree with you 100%. Notice I don't? 

    ...and when you identify a disingenuous statement from me call it out, just as I might call out you or someone else for dishonesty or obfuscation. So far you haven't identified anything.
    When someone makes something up, or simply doesn't know any better, it seems like the right thing is point it out for the sake of the discussion, if not the forum, but that's a problem for you?  Sorry, not sorry. 
    I will trust your word because I can’t verify it. So then, let’s call you “Google’s Number One Fan.”

    It’s true, I make up stuff. I thought of something and wrote it down in a comment. My comment need not be the undisputed truth on a matter — I’m not an industry insider and I don’t have a crystal ball. My comment need only be interesting or useful (relevant to the real world — I hope) purely for the sake of discussion in this forum. 

    I must have succeeded, if my innocuous comment about AI and Google’s future should raise such ire in “Google’s Number One Fan.” I merely reflected this titbit of evidence from the real world: https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/chatgpt-caused-code-red-at-google-report-says/
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 20
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,347member
    Alex_V said:
    gatorguy said:
    I agree with you 100%. Notice I don't? 

    ...and when you identify a disingenuous statement from me call it out, just as I might call out you or someone else for dishonesty or obfuscation. So far you haven't identified anything.
    When someone makes something up, or simply doesn't know any better, it seems like the right thing is point it out for the sake of the discussion, if not the forum, but that's a problem for you?  Sorry, not sorry. 
    I will trust your word because I can’t verify it. So then, let’s call you “Google’s Number One Fan.”

    It’s true, I make up stuff. I thought of something and wrote it down in a comment. My comment need not be the undisputed truth on a matter — I’m not an industry insider and I don’t have a crystal ball. My comment need only be interesting or useful (relevant to the real world — I hope) purely for the sake of discussion in this forum. 

    I must have succeeded, if my innocuous comment about AI and Google’s future should raise such ire in “Google’s Number One Fan.” I merely reflected this titbit of evidence from the real world: https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/chatgpt-caused-code-red-at-google-report-says/
    That's a more humble post. Every opinion matters.

    Thanks. 
    edited September 2023
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