Apple is allegedly under increasing pressure to develop its own search engine, following investigations into the legality of its business deals with Google, according to a report from The Financial Times.
Apple will need to have its own version of Google ready soon if the current investigations from US antitrust laws prove that Google is abusing its dominant market position. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Google accusing the tech behemoth of anti-competitive behavior, in particular referring to the $8-12 billion per year deal with Apple that secures Google as the default search engine on iPhones.
The latest iOS 14 software update for the iPhone actually saw Apple's own search engine take over where Google used to be, which indicates that Apple's previously dormant search engine AppleBot is crawling the internet for data to develop a search engine.
Although Apple's internal schemes are notoriously secretive, there is mounting evidence to suggest that an Apple-owned search engine is being prioritized with the company's recent acquisition of Google's Head of Search a few years ago, as well as job listings for search engineers.
However, with Apple's profits expected to exceed $55 billion, and with $81 billion of net cash reserve to stay afloat, Apple can probably afford to take its time perfecting this one.