• Reports claimed Apple is working on a search engine
  • This search engine is said to be designed to compete with Google search
  • A report says that it might not be created for that purpose but to simply improve Siri

Apple might be working on its own search engine that could replace Google's, but a report says that it's not really because it wants to compete against the search giant. Apple reportedly wants to improve the digital assistant Siri through this move.

Previous reports indicated that Apple has been quietly working on an in-house search engine that just might replace Google search on iDevices such as iPhones, iPads and Macs.

These reports, citing unnamed sources from the tech industry, said that Apple is planning to do with Google search what it did to Google Maps on iDevices: replace them with a viable, even functional, alternative. Just as it released Apple Maps to compete with Google Maps, it might release a search engine to replace Google search.

Such a move might seem logical for Apple since it currently has many customers using its devices to surf the internet. However, a report from Business Insider indicated that Apple's move might not actually be because it wants to go head-to-head with Google's search. Rather, it's to improve Siri, the digital assistant.

Why is that?

The changes Apple added to Siri Search in iOS 14 might indicate that the tech giant is actually working on its own search engine, but the move to create something that will go against Google doesn't seem reasonable for a few reasons.

First, Apple “makes too much money from Google to seriously consider building a competitor in this space,” Jason Aten, a columnist for Business Insider, said.

Google pays Apple about $10 billion to make its search engine the default option on the iPhone. The amount “is almost entirely pure profit” because iPhone users will just keep “doing what they'd do anyway – using Google.” The Cupertino-based tech giant doesn't really need to do much except let its customers use Google search.

Second, creating a competitive search engine is costly. While Apple does have money for that, it likely won't spend a lot of money to compete with a potential rival it is already earning loads of revenue from.

The reason why Apple is stepping up its efforts to improve its search feature must be Siri, Aten said. This is because the digital assistant, which is present in almost all Apple products, including the new HomePod mini, needs all the help it can get to become better at searching for information and delivering results to users – like how Google's Assistant is good at it.

Siri on iPhone 4S
Siri on iPhone 4S Reuters