Joel Rosenblatt and Adam Satariano, Bloomberg:
Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014, according to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle Corp.’s copyright lawsuit against Google. The search engine giant has an agreement with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue Google generates through the Apple device, an attorney for Oracle said at a Jan. 14 hearing in federal court.
A billion dollars a year represents only a tiny portion of Google’s revenue. However, if they’re also splitting what is presumably advertising revenue, that could be a significant amount — Goldman Sachs estimated that 75% of Google’s 2014 mobile search revenue came from iOS devices, and the share of their revenue coming from mobile is only growing.
I only have my own anecdotal experience, but I’ve been using Spotlight far more since iOS 9 was released. Between the functionality on the home screen and suggestions provided in Safari, I’ve gone days without seeing a Google search results screen.
If this pattern holds for more people and Apple keeps improving their ability to index the web, it’s a classic move. Not only are they attempting erode Google’s revenue, they’re cannibalizing some of their own. Not much, probably, but some. And they’re protecting users’ privacy along the way.