In a bid to separate its mobile operating system from Google’s parent Alphabet, Apple is taking steps to update its maps, search feature and advertising, a report by the Financial Times said. The two rivals have been in the smartphone market since the 2000s and are engaged in a “silent war”, it added.
In 2012, Apple released its “Maps” to compete with Google Maps. After initial glitches, the application has shown considerable changes in the past decade.
Earlier this month, Apple announced “Business Connect” which allows companies to claim their legal location. It also allows them to provide exclusive offers and promotions to their customers and interact with the users. Google Maps partners with Yelp to offer similar information.
But with Apple’s integration using Apple Pay, Business Connect might get an upper hand in the competition, the report said.
Apple’s search feature was augmented in 2019 after the purchase of Laserlike, an artificial intelligence start-up. According to experts, Apple could also grab a big share of Google’s dominance in the search market by not making it the default search engine in iOS.
However, this might come at a cost initially as Google pays Apple $8 billion to $12 billion a year to be the default search engine.
The biggest impact will be from Apple’s online advertising.
Apple appointed Keith Weisburg in September 2022 as the group product manager of Ad platforms. His main role is believed to be to “drive the design of the most privacy-forward, sophisticated demand side platform possible”. A demand-side platform is a digital media buying tool that lets advertisers purchase ad inventory on multiple exchanges, FT said.
This could allow Apple to make a new ad network and keep the third-party data brokers away from it.
According to Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at Insider Intelligence, as reported by FT, Apple’s move has left Alphabet “more vulnerable”.
“Apple is increasingly incentivised to get into the search business as it builds out its advertising arm…Search is the key to huge troves of first-party data, and that’s the new battleground for the future of digital advertising,” he said.