The replacement of Google Maps in iOS 6 with Apple Maps, and now the news that iOS 6 devices will not offer native support of YouTube, suggests that the iPhone 6 in 2013 could be “Google Free,” with even Google Search being replaced by Siri.
Back in June at the WWDC, Apple made waves by announcing it would replace the poorly-performing Google Maps iOS integration with its own Apple Maps. What we have seen of it thus far suggests that, if nothing else, Apple’s Maps will bring with it an aesthetic flair that was lacking in iOS’s Google Maps, plus point-to-point navigation and other features that have been sorely lacking.
Today, we’ve also got news that Apple will not be offering native support for YouTube in all iOS 6-and-beyond devices. Apple issued its statement via The Verge: “Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.”
This is a big deal for Google: to lose both Google Maps and YouTube from iOS 6 means that they will have considerably less ad impressions for their Google AdWords service, which has already seen a sharp decline in revenues over the past three quarters. For Google, which still relies on Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad to deliver more exposure for its ads via integrated Google services, this is bound to hurt their bottom line.
And there’s no reason to believe that the iPhone 6 could also feature a new search engine integration in 2013 that could do away even with Google Search as well.
Few have reported on it, but there is plenty of evidence to support that Siri is a search engine in its own right. It was reported earlier in the year that Apple has entered into a strategic partnership with the Wolfram Alpha search engine database. Together with the big investment in data centers that Apple has made for iCloud, Cupertino certainly has the technology and capabilities to make a bigger, better search engine in Siri that works quite differently from Google Search, delivering search results from vast data caches as well as through the indexing of websites.
It’s hard to imagine the iPhone 6 or any future iOS device coming equipped with a search engine integration that is not Google. There’s no doubt that “Google” is ubiquitous with “search.” But if Apple can manage to greatly improve the Siri experience on iOS 6, it could indeed see the total scrubbing of Google from the iOS experience.
By Michael Nace