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Report: Apple 'Stepping Up Efforts' to Develop Alternative to Google Search


Jun 8, 2017
The future: all competing search engines must pay Apple 30% of their revenue.


macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2009
It's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more people use a search engine, the more the search engine learns what results are good and bad, and the better it becomes. If more people used DUckDuckGo more often, it would become better over time.
DuckDuckGo has ~100 employees. Google has ~100.000 employees. I understand that the relationship between search accuracy and employee number may not be linear, but I doubt DuckDuckGo will be anywhere near Google even in 5-10 years.


macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
I don't think it's a very good idea considering how bloody long it took Apple Maps to find its feet (and is still struggling outside of the U.S.)

Not really an issue. Google Maps didn’t exactly light up the world when it came out either. It took years for it to become the dominant mapping service. There was a point when mapquest dominated google maps.


Jul 18, 2011
DuckDuckGo has ~100 employees. Google has ~100.000 employees. I understand that the relationship between search accuracy and employee number may not be linear, but I doubt DuckDuckGo will be anywhere near Google even in 5-10 years.

And maybe DDG doesn’t need to catch up to google. They just need to be good enough for users to be indifferent between using them and google, and maybe the promise of better privacy just may be enough to sway these users over.

Just like apple maps may never be as good as google maps, but it’s good enough to get me to where I need to go, and that’s enough for me to not even have google maps installed on my phone.


macrumors 65816
Aug 25, 2016
1,456 is already taken. Hopefully it won’t be, ain’t as kool as


macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
I don't know why Apple doesn't buy DuckDuckGo and just improve what's already a great search engine...

99% of the time, when people say a potential Apple purchase is obvious, I can clearly see why Apple doesn’t do it.

DuckDuckGo is the exception. It makes perfect sense to me, other than Apple is de-motivated by the reputed 10 billion or so it gets paid by Google each year.
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macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
DuckDuckGo has ~100 employees. Google has ~100.000 employees. I understand that the relationship between search accuracy and employee number may not be linear, but I doubt DuckDuckGo will be anywhere near Google even in 5-10 years.

I don't think anyone expects DuckDuckGo to become Google as a whole, but rather just as good as Google Search, which only one of many products that Google offers. Today, a large % of Google's 100k employees have nothing to do with search. Moreover, from my perspective, Google search stopped "improving" about over decade ago when they forced "personalized search" on everyone, and it has actually become a bit worse since then. So DuckDuckGo needs to match Google's search quality as it existed in ~2009 to become better than Google Search is today in my view. Back in 2009, Google had only 20k employees, and again only come % of those were working on search.

As an analogy, it's like comparing SK hynix to Samsung. They both make DRAM chips, but SK hynix makes only DRAM chips, whereas Samsung has a hand in pretty much every single market on the planet. Of course Samsung is bigger and has more employees and money, but apples to apples, both make approximately equally good DRAM chips.


macrumors 6502
Apr 27, 2005
Apple. Please, make hardware, operating system and cloud storage.
Stop making your own tv shows, search engine, radio shows and maps data. The data for maps is available, buy it from Google. Work together.
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macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2007
Google has long moved from mere search, it has way too many mechanisms to collect, mine, aggregate, segmentise, target users many ways and providing surreptitious services like translations, voice response, scan documents etc...automated call centre operations(Botomation), websites, emails, documents editing & sharing(enterprise level), AI, ML, very effective collaboration tools for individual consumers and enterprise customers(Google Meet, YouTube, Google Drive, Photos, Maps for example)....they could get access to wide variety of geographic-wise data and know how to utilise in terms of monetisation. They only failed in Social Media like FB & Twitter where they could not get their Google + topple the others.

Apple seems to have enormous amount of data, but haven’t effectively used for the benefit of the consumers, they even have no idea how to deal with corporate customers. Not many use their cloud, video, office solutions even if it is available.

Apple can only deal with high quality consumer high tech hardware/devices(Google apparently struggling in that) and associated OS, beyond that they got used to franchise and distribution classic model of OEMs in terms of delivery and services...


macrumors 65816
Aug 26, 2009
I don't understand why this would be seen as anti-competitive behavior. I don't think Apple and Google are working together to shut out competition. If Microsoft offered to pay more, I'm sure Apple would drop Google as its default search in a heartbeat.

The iPhone is a massively successful platform. The amount it (Google) pays is large, but when scaled to the number of i-devices?


macrumors 603
Apr 24, 2016
you will be back using google in no time.

Remains to be seen. Maps all over again, and Apple Maps has worked great for me for the last couple years. There,is no special sauce in Google search that cannot be met by others with enough effort.


macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2020
Using DuckDuckGo, not interested in being a product sold to advertisers on Google... I'm on month three of being completely Google Free... Great feeling!


macrumors 603
Apr 24, 2016
I'm interested in members here opinion's on why it would be better for Apple to do this?

Google search is based on ad revenue, Apple is "supposedly privacy based", so therefore, why would Apple give up the revenue that Google pays them.

Seems like killing the golden goose.

I'm not smart enough to understand the complications, so I'm interested in others' thoughts.

It might make the rounds with consumers one day that collaboration with the world’s biggest ad company is countering your public efforts for privacy, somehow.

Sam Squanch

macrumors member
May 10, 2018
I've tried DuckDuckGo and Bing. For complex searches, Google is MILES ahead.. So annoying that we can't just have the best as default.
Weird I exclusively use Duck duck Go with occasional bounce back to Google search and I find DDG much better. I think it is due to DDG not having a pay to play feature for companies as Google does. I mean I guess if you like what Google likes and not an objective search then I guess Google is OK.
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macrumors 603
Feb 23, 2004
San Diego, CA, USA
I would absolutely LOVE if Apple came up with a great (private, reliable) search engine.

Unfortunately I feel like it will be like Maps (for which I still use Google Maps) or Translate (yep, I prefer Google’s again).
Translate’s still brand new, but I’ve preferred Apple’s Maps to Google Maps for a long time - plenty accurate everywhere I’ve gone, and a better experience. I’d love to see Apple do a first rate search engine, but I fear it’ll take a looong time to get it right (and to index everything).

Can you imagine, though, just how much of a blow this would be to Google’s core business? It would take away an enormous amount of the most lucrative customers (just going by how much more willing the iOS users are to pay for software than the Android users, one would think the iOS users are more interesting/valuable to Google’s clients for ads). If Apple did a search engine that worked well and wasn’t driven by ad revenue, a lot of people would jump on it, and away from Google.
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