Google paid Apple $1bn to be default iOS search engine

Apple and Google are rivals. So why is Google the default seek engine for mobile Safari, that is the pre-set up web browser on iPads and iPhones?

The solution, court docket files found out on Thursday, is straightforward: money talks. And $1bn, the quantity Google paid Apple in 2014 for the privilege of default get entry to the hundreds of thousands of iPhone users, talks very loudly.

The statistics got here to mild as part of Google’s lawsuit with Silicon Valley giant Oracle, which accuses the hunt company of infringing on Oracle’s patents for programming language Java in its Android operating gadget.

On top of the $1bn price, which were stated as a hearsay by means of TechCrunch in 2013 but not confirmed till now, Oracle’s attorneys additionally revealed that Apple and Google shared a portion of the revenue Google received from showing adverts to iOS customers. According to Oracle, “at one factor in time” that proportion become 34% – although it wasn’t clear who got the bigger give up of that deal.


The payments stored Google because the default seek engine for cell Safari, permitting it to hold to cash in on iOS. And being the default is essential: when Apple switched from Google Maps to its own in-residence crew for the default map app on iPhones in 2012, the brand new app became criticised for its blunders-ridden maps.

3 years on, the default app turned into used Three times as a great deal as Google’s own app, Consistent with Apple. That’s millions of users who Google can’t get data from or show advertisements to.

Someplace else in iOS, Apple is already detaching itself from Google search: the default search engine on Siri is Microsoft’s Bing, and that can’t be changed by using the consumer.


Other figures released in courtroom help display pretty why Google became so keen to pay Apple big sums of cash for get admission to its customers. Google’s Android working machine, the maximum famous within the international, has generated sales of $31bn and income of $22bn in its lifetime.

For comparison, Apple generated $32.2bn sales from the iPhone in the fourth region of 2015 alone – a determine that doesn’t encompass its profits from the App Store and iAd structures, each the most direct comparators for Google’s Android revenue.

Google’s makes cash from Android in two methods: it takes a share of the sales of apps and media on the Google Play Store, and it shows show advertising to Android users.

Other than its personal Nexus and Pixel-branded gadgets, it does no longer obtain any revenue from the sale of Android telephones – in stark evaluation to Apple. That means that iOS users are almost as precious to Google as Android customers, because the company can still income by means of showing them advertisements, but doesn’t must expend the strength of growing an entire running gadget for them.

Google become sad with the book of the sales figures, however, telling Oracle and the court docket that they need to had never been made personal. The company informed a federal decide that Oracle’s lawyer improperly disclosed “extraordinarily sensitive facts”, and requested for the courtroom records to be redacted and sealed.

“Google does not privately allocate sales or income to Android separate and Apart from Google’s popular business,” the organisation said within the court docket submitting. “That economic data is particularly sensitive, and private disclosure could have sizeable terrible results on Google’s enterprise.”


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