Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Talk of an Apple Search Engine To Thwart Google

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-want-to-play-in-your-yard dept.

Google 276

Hugh Pickens writes "eWeek reports that the data Apple collects about users from its iPhone is so valuable that the company may build its own iPhone-centric search engine just to keep Google from gleaning insight from that data. 'The data generated on the iPhone OS platform must become an increasing priority for Apple and we believe the company has the resources to develop its own products in both maps and search in the next five years,' writes analyst Gene Munster. Google is currently the default search engine on the iPhone, but Google has increasingly encroached on Apple's mobile turf, offering the Android operating system and several mobile applications. As the search provider for the iPhone, Google sees what iPhone users are searching for, which can help it tailor software and services for its own mobile smartphones — a competitive advantage that has not gone unnoticed by Apple. Apple lacks the experience and engineering wherewithal to build a large, scalable search engine, but Munster says Apple could buy a search startup with a Web index, such as Cuil or Taptu, and use its index as the seed for its own search engine. 'Apple is in an inside position to tap into the current pent-up demand for better mobile search, and add a new competitive differentiation from other search providers and device makers,' adds IDC analyst Hadley Reynolds."

cancel ×

276 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

eat my shorts slashdot !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726410)

Eat my shorts slashdot !!
Happy Easter!!

the domain will be (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726420)

gayboys.com

No Way (1, Insightful)

thepike (1781582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726436)

No way is Apple going to be able to take on Google in search. Bing failed and Microsoft has a lot more power than Apple. People will just end up using the google website instead. Or, alternatively, they'll start saying it's a feature and that they don't need a good search engine anyway.

Re:No Way (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726486)

No way is Apple going to be able to take on Google in search. Bing failed

Bing hasn't 'failed'. Not taking the top spot is not 'failure'.

and Microsoft has a lot more power than Apple.

Good point. I guess Apple should give up on portable music players too. ;)

People will just end up using the google website instead.

Sure. A fraction of the user base. Some of the time. Odds are anything apple throws in as the built in search will be good enough most of the time for most users. Who knows... they may even partner up with Microsoft/Yahoo. Of course apple has serious NIH syndrome, so probably not.
 

Re:No Way (0)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726594)

Bing hasn't 'failed'. Not taking the top spot is not 'failure'.

Microsoft's internet division is currently losing about $2 billion a year. Sure looks like failure to me.

Re:No Way (1, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726674)

Bing hasn't 'failed'. Not taking the top spot is not 'failure'.

Microsoft's internet division is currently losing about $2 billion a year. Sure looks like failure to me.

Yeah and MS internet division == Bing? Even if MS is burning money on Bing and their other online products, they're thinking long term. You sound like one of these investors who are only interested in quick short term product, after which the company is ran to ground. MS sure has the money to be thinking years afterwards.

Re:No Way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726912)

Oh sopssa, everyone on /. knows you're a microsoft astroturfer. Why don't you grow up and get a real job?

Re:No Way (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726918)

The money, yeah. But, Bill retired, right? He's the one person that I'm sure of who saw years into the future. Now, PLEASE, don't take that as a compliment to Bill - I despise the bastard, but I do try to give the devil his due. He publicly stated, multiple times, that he approved of people pirating Windows, because there would be a day of reckoning, when the entire world depended on his product. Very forward looking.

Re:No Way (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727096)

Bill Gates is still chief software architect and non-executive chairman of Microsoft and I'm sure he has some saying over things. He only stepped down from the chief executive officer position and maybe day to day activities and left those for Ballmer.

Only one decade (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727016)

You're right! People have to be more forward thinking than that. It could take a few more decades at several billion dollars a year for Microsoft's Internet strategy to break even, but then these naysayers will be really sorry. Stick with the company that's not afraid to put in the investment and stick with a long term strategy.

Re:No Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727058)

I belive their internet division has been around for 10+ years. How much long is their term you mean?

Re:No Way (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726698)

Their gaming division lost a lot of money, too, but I believe that is now turning a profit. Who knows, maybe Bing will end up in the black? I agree that Bing should not be called a success, at least not yet, but it's too early to tell if it is a failure.

Re:No Way (2, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726780)

Microsoft's internet division is currently losing about $2 billion a year. Sure looks like failure to me.

Makes me think of that line from Citizen Kane.

Kane's bookkeeper: But we're losing a million dollars a year!
Kane: Then in 60 years, when I am out of money, we will close our doors!!

Failure (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726638)

Bing hasn't 'failed'. Not taking the top spot is not 'failure'.

$6B and running to buy 12% market share that will disappear once they stop dumping money in. That's not failure? Then what is?

Re:No Way (2, Insightful)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726616)

No way is Apple going to be able to take on Google in search. Bing failed and Microsoft has a lot more power than Apple. People will just end up using the google website instead. Or, alternatively, they'll start saying it's a feature and that they don't need a good search engine anyway.

Did Bing really fail? I still use google to search for things; but when I'm ready to buy I use Bing for the cash back rewards. Since click-throughs are how search engine companies make money, I'd think that they will bring in a lot of cash, relative to their market share.

Pay out more "cash back" than ad revenues (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727138)

That'll build market share and ad revenues. Until you stop paying people to pretend to use your search engine to find stuff to buy. Then they abandon you and you'll find you've flushed a bunch of cash for absolutely nothing.

It will succeed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726766)

I suspect that it will succeed in becoming the preeminent search engine for those looking for the filthiest of homosexual pornography. Only the Apple crowd would be able to properly process and catalog all that content.

Talk of an Apple Search Engine To Thwart (2, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726896)

Talk is cheap.

why do geeks think Bing has failed? (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726996)

Every single non-tech person I know that's recently bought a new computer has Bing as their default search and leaves it that way. Without fail. Sure, geeks may still prefer Google, but get out of tech circles and you'll see Windows users now using Bing.

The couple times I've tried Bing, the results weren't poor... different than Google, yes, but certainly not bad results.

This will fail (3, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726438)

Bing was created mainly as an attack on Google and an attempt to get into the search business, not because Microsoft had something new to offer in search. This is being done in the same spirit, and it will also turn out bad, with many users going to google.com to search just because Google is that much better.

Re:This will fail (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726598)

I agree but I don't think it's a good thing. I'm afraid that Google has such a lead in the search engine technology as well as the market share, and the brain power behind it all, that it is almost impossible to beat. I think it will take a paradigm shift in how people access the information on the Internet before Google is unseated but that is nowhere on the horizon. The problem I have with this is that every company that carves itself such a secure and powerful position tends to abuse it however well intentioned its founders were.

Re:This will fail (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726696)

I agree but I don't think it's a good thing. I'm afraid that Google has such a lead in the search engine technology as well as the market share, and the brain power behind it all, that it is almost impossible to beat.

Competition is always a good thing. Think about it: if Google stops indexing the website of a business that makes most of their sales online, they go bankrupt.

Re:This will fail (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726778)

You're overestimating the importance of that. All the other aspects of marketing work too. For example, theres one store that imports all kinds of hot and exotic spices, chili, and anything related you don't find on normal stores. I never really search for them on Google and most other people have heard about them by word of mouth, and they seem to be doing just fine. Sure they do have their sites indexed in Google which most likely brings them extra customers, but it's not like it's really needed for a successful company. Only time a company would fail if they were dropped from a search index would be if they were a shit company to begin with.

Re:This will fail (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726794)

I agree that competition is good, but although I like Apple products, extending their closed ecosystem to search makes me raise one eyebrow at least a fraction of an inch.

Re:This will fail (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726714)

Exactly, it's never good to have only one company having monopoly.

Another thing is that Bing does actually have something new to offer. More than Google they have a lot of information displayed on the search results page, from travel info, weather, shopping to wolfram alpha results. I still personally use Google as Bing doesn't find the long tail keywords as good (because Google gets so much more usage data, and what Bing team admits too) but the difference is that if searching in Bing, you can a lot of times get the results on the search page. With Google you have to look for a relevant result (and try to skip all the spammy links), then click it and hope it contains what you're searching for.

Re:This will fail - because Apple only does UI (4, Interesting)

elwinc (663074) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726740)

This is not the kind of problem Apple does well on. Apple is brilliant at honing user interfaces. Search is hard work and takes massive data crunching. It's the kind of work Apple traditionally farms out.

The problem Apple has with the iphone is they just farmed out too much. There's not enough Apple controlled stuff in the iphone for Apple to maintain control. Apple controls email, but that's not hard. Apple doesn't control the voice or data circuits, but those are commodities, so not a problem. Apple farmed out maps. That's more of a problem; only MS and Google do maps reasonably well. Apple farmed out search. That's a problem.

Apple controls the browser, but that's more of a bug than a feature because the browser is so feature-limited that most functions that could be done by websites on a full-featured browser (for example, IMDB or shopping at Lands End) need a dedicated app on the iphone. Apple is rightly afraid of an infection vector thru the browser, but the result is thousands of 'apps' that simply substitute for websites on a fully functional browser.

The upshot is the features of the iphone are too easy to duplicate on other machines. Websites do the job of most apps, and maps and search are already controlled by google. What's left?

Actually there is one thing left, but it's also the kind of hard job that Apple doesn't handle well. Right now we pick phones based on how easy it is to enter data without a keyboard. That's pretty ludicrous when you think about it. If we could input data to a phone by speaking into it how amazing would that be? Yeah, I know, voice rec is hard, but when it comes along it's going to be the only kind of smartphone worth owning. And Apple isn't even working on it.

Re:This will fail - because Apple only does UI (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726946)

I think you've got it. But I'll distill it down a little further:

Apple is very good at screen-centric user interfaces. They are the king of visual interaction. But they have very, very little expertise outside of that arena. Of course, this has served them well because we are primarily visual creatures.

But speech and sound, and language (in the abstract sense, not the text sense) are also very important interaction mechanisms. And Apple is weak in this area. And its competitors, Microsoft and Google, are quite good at it. And these are fields MS and Google have been investing billions into for many years. When I say they're good, I don't just mean better than Apple... they're better than everybody. There's no revolutionary startup Apple can buy to catapult them into the lead, like they usually do.

Re:This will fail (5, Funny)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726754)

Bing isn't another search engine. Its a decision engine. Specifically, it drives many to decide to go to google instead of using their in-browser search functions.

Re:This will fail (5, Informative)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726798)

Bing is Microsoft's rebrand of 3 previous failures of trying to get into the search business.

Re:This will fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727002)

Wrong, google is not better. It's just synonymous with internet. If apple forces it's expanding user base to use an alternative search engine it will automatically become popular. As creatures of habit we use what is familiar to us. I say mp3 player you think iPod, I say tablet you think iPad, I say internet you might think 'i.Search' or similiar in a few years. Although this was easily predictable, I personally bet on a yahoo buyout but that might not longer be viable. Though I don't see search engines playing that big part in a decade, online communities are getting more specialized, Wikipedia is basically the single most important source for general info. App stores remove the needs for searching for software, torrent clients include search functions, social media delivers news and blogs interconnect. Advertising revenue comes from online video and music. Only thing I use google for these days is spell checking in foreign languages (including english) by using the autocomplete function. I hate the vile google advertising/spam all over the net and wish for the day the internet is purged from all the shades of ugly.

Re:This will fail (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727082)

I don't know. When has Apple just followed the crowd? I think if Apple wanted to get into the search biz (and it might be a great idea) they would do it from the point of view of creating a new user experience rather than just a replacement - what Microsoft did.

Re:This will fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727250)

it will also turn out bad, with many users going to google.com to search just because Google is that much better.

Don't underestimate the power of Apple's marketing department. The above is true for pretty much all their products, i.e. there has always been a company that offered better products. Yet, Apple always succeeds to convince enough people that only their products are hip, turn customers into creative masterminds and welcomes them into the in-crowd.

Apple doesn't need a search engine that's better than Google's. They only need to convince people it is. The latter being something I actually think they might be capable of.

Re:This will fail (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727262)

Bing was created mainly as an attack on Google and an attempt to get into the search business, not because Microsoft had something new to offer in search. This is being done in the same spirit, and it will also turn out bad, with many users going to google.com to search just because Google is that much better.

I happen to like Bing better than Google but Microsoft's China policy sucks. Therefore I continue to use Google. I was ready and willing to dump Google. So, clearly Apple has an opportunity. People tend to overestimate Google's invincibility. Google is not that much better than their competition and their lead is rapidly shrinking to the point where the competition is "good enough".

Balderdash! (5, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726440)

Apple isn't going to put together a search engine. Come on, people, pitting Apple against Google, Google against Microsoft, Microsoft against Apple ... it's all just a game of 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' depending on whose market you're playing in.

Just because Google is making real inroads into the mobile phone market doesn't mean that Apple is going to counter by trying to start a search engine. What's next, a rumor of Google's new Android based gPad?

Re:Balderdash! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726460)

What's next, a rumor of Google's new Android based gPad?

You're two months late with that. [informationweek.com]

Re:Balderdash! (4, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726536)

Actually, Google seems to be exploring the possibility of tailoring their OS to a tablet...
http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/user-experience/form-factors/tablet [chromium.org] ...ChromeOS though, not Android

(but I think I remember some nafucaturers which showed Android-powered tablets at one of recent industry shows)

Re:Balderdash! (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726966)

And the only way ChromeOS can run third-party apps is inside a web browser, just like iPhone OS 1.0

Re:Balderdash! (5, Interesting)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726688)

Also, google seem to have the better angle on a brewing war.

1. They already have a search engine available on iPhones - Apple won't block it for fear of antitrust litigation.
2. They already have the best search engine around.
3. Their smartphone OS is gaining ground on the iPhone OS very quickly.
4. Their business model of focussing on the OS and letting other phone makers worry about the hardware is smart. Phone makers were praying for an opportunity to have a phone with functionality to compete with the iPhone, and google gave them the OS to do just that. You can now get a samsung that is on at least an equal footing with the iPhone in many respects.

If Apple decides to throw down the gauntlet google will have the means to crush their search engine business in the long(ish) run, and possibly their phone business too...

Re:Balderdash! (1)

JackAxe (689361) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726848)

I couldn't agree more!

Yahooooooo!? (5, Interesting)

centuren (106470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726458)

I bet Yahoo would be more than happy to provide search technology to Apple (not the powered by Bing stuff, their own capable search). Yahoo's not going to make a competing phone anytime soon, and the cost of a Yahoo deal might well be worth it against the cost of Apple developing their own (the latter obviously being more expensive, but meaning Apple gets full control).

Re:Yahooooooo!? (5, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726630)

I didn't even know there was all this "pent-up demand for better mobile search" as the article claims.

Did you guys know there was "pent-up demand for better mobile search"? Because I didn't know there was "pent-up demand for better mobile search".

But if marketing giant IDC says there's "pent-up demand for better mobile search" it must be true. A respected marketing firm wouldn't make something like that up, after all.

Now that I think about it, I have been feeling vaguely unsatisfied with my horribly deficient mobile search. Perhaps, if there was a better mobile search available, from a company that I really really trust and have positive feelings toward, I might have been aware of this pent-up demand before it became such a crisis.

God DAMN that Google all to Hell for not meeting my mobile search needs and creating this untenable situation of pent-up demand.

I wonder what other pent-up demands I have and needs for products and services that aren't being met that I'm not even aware of? I should probably read more Wired Magazine and other fine Conde Nast publications so I can find out about all the needs I have of which I am unaware! Maybe it's that damned AdBlock Plus that is preventing me from learning about my unmet needs! I better turn that off right now!

Re:Yahooooooo!? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726742)

Something's pent up.

Re:Yahooooooo!? (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726856)

Maybe it's that damned AdBlock Plus that is preventing me from learning about my unmet needs!

"AdBlock Plus"? Is that what they call a basement door nowadays?

I know, cheap shot, but someone had to take it.

Re:Yahooooooo!? (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727048)

On a serious note, what differences would there need to be between mobile search and desktop search? I don't know about most people, but when I search for something, no matter what device I'm using, I expect the same results from the same terms. I don't always want my results vetted based on where I happen to be standing, or just the fact my phone identifies itself as a mobile device. If they're talking about finding things like pizza places, or cinemas, I think Google kind of already does that, doesn't it? I'm stuck in 1.5 land on my Android phone (I fucking hate Samsung, they don't care once a phone has been sold, minor software updates apparently mean entire new models, but I digress), but I'm pretty sure 1.6 lets you voice search things like "pizza" or "restaurants", and it will return results relevant to your location, though I could be wrong. The last thing I really need is "better mobile search", unless that means "more touch-friendly web design" and "websites that don't look like shit in a WAP browser".

Buy Cuil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726522)

Just how much money would that take? $15?

I didn't think anyone used it aside from the first month when everyone was making fun of how they didn't rank for 'cuil' in their own engine and how all the pictures weren't lining up with the results.

Not a chance in hell (-1, Flamebait)

plague911 (1292006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726530)

Apple relies entirely on their cult to fund its sales. Unfortunatly for them their cult dose not make up a 10's of %s so they will stand no chance of taking significant market share. Search engines unlike hardware sales require large numbers of customers, not a small number willing to spend big bucks.

Re:Not a chance in hell (4, Insightful)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726626)

Apple relies entirely on their cult to fund its sales. Unfortunatly for them their cult dose not make up a 10's of %s so they will stand no chance of taking significant market share. Search engines unlike hardware sales require large numbers of customers, not a small number willing to spend big bucks.

So it's only Apple's "cult" that bought 54 Million iPods last year, 20.5 Million iPhones, and 25% of all music sold in the US?

Considering that Apple only sold around 13 million Macs last year, I find that unbelievable.

Besides that, why should Apple care about search engine market share? As the article stated, the prime goal would be to keep Google from being able to data mine information from iPhone/iPod Touch users.

Re:Not a chance in hell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726788)

NO but it is the cult members who attack anyone who doesn't worship Jobs and Apple. Much like you just did.

Re:Not a chance in hell (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727214)

So it's only Apple's "cult" that bought 54 Million iPods last year, 20.5 Million iPhones, and 25% of all music sold in the US?

Considering that Apple only sold around 13 million Macs last year, I find that unbelievable.

Yeah it should apply to be recognised as an organised religion.

Besides that, why should Apple care about search engine market share? As the article stated, the prime goal would be to keep Google from being able to data mine information from iPhone/iPod Touch users.

I hope Apple don't. Apple has proven more than willing of censoring app content without explanation. I don't want them doing the same to search results.

Re:Not a chance in hell (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726634)

Apple relies entirely on their cult to fund its sales.

Well, decent products too. Not to mention killer marketing. Can any other company manage 8 stories on the front page of http://cnet.com/ [cnet.com] as Apple has at the moment as well as front pages of CNN, BBC, New York Times etc etc, just because they released a tablet?

Re:Not a chance in hell (4, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726732)

That's a testament to their marketing powers, not to their products. I'm of the opinion that Apple could market human waste, and we'd all hail it as revolutionary. That said, their products are fairly decent, just not as awesome as they are made out to be.

Re:Not a chance in hell (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726832)

I'm of the opinion that Apple could market human waste, and we'd all hail it as revolutionary.

And I think that's the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Apple could, but they wouldn't. Microsoft can and does, and everyone hates it, but somehow finds themselves buying round after round their fecus.

Re:Not a chance in hell (1)

thenextstevejobs (1586847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726786)

. Search engines unlike hardware sales require large numbers of customers

Why would that be exactly?

Re:Not a chance in hell (1)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727052)

Search engines to function on their own require large numbers of customers. However, a search engine built specifically for apple mobile products, such as the iPhone, iPad, etc. wouldn't require any customers outside the apple "cult". The point isn't to make money off of the search engine, it's to make the iPhone, iPad, etc. a wholly independent and completely functional platform, which Apple owns (and profits from) inside and out.

Disregarding core competencies always ends badly (3, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726544)

It probably is possible to build a company that does many widely disparate things well -- and certainly, there are a few successful examples -- but it is very, very hard. Most of the time, when a company wanders outside of its core competencies, the venture crashes and burns, and sometimes takes the company down with it. Microsoft (and yes, I am using the term core "competency" very loosely here) has managed to get a lock on PC operating systems and office software, but its ventures elsewhere have not been very successful: IE is the dominant browser, but the goal of using it to dominate the internet was a failure, and the Xbox, while reasonably popular, is not profitable for Microsoft. Google's ventures outside search and advertising have been ignorable so far. Even IBM's foray into personal computing, historically important though it was, is history. Combine such an expedition with a challenge to a competitor whose dominance borders on monopoly, and the odds definitely don't get any better.

Now Apple wants to enter a field in which they not only have no experience, but also lack experience in the entire underlying field of large-scale, massively parallel computing? And they think they're going to do this by buying an unknown and unproven startup?

Well, good luck with that. The odds of it going anywhere are not good, and if it pisses off enough iPhone owners, it might damage the core company as well. (I know, I know, if iPhones crapped every fifteen minutes like parrots, Apple enthusiasts would be the first to boast that Apple had crapping phones way ahead of everyone else, but Apple is no longer operating in a market where the majority of its customers are diehard fanboys.)

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726672)

> the Xbox, while reasonably popular, is not profitable for Microsoft

Incorrect -- it's not incredibly lucrative but it more than breaks even. Microsoft's entertainment division would have been respectably profitable except Windows Mobile is for some reason also part of the division and the resounding flop that was WinMo 6.5 dragged it down.

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (5, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726682)

I think you'll find that it's some "analyst" who is saying there is a "70% chance" that Apple will do this. Apple themselves have said nothing of the sort, and probably quite rightly have determined that search engines are non of their concern.

Apple don't want to do anything - some analyst desperate to validate his existence and paycheck decided to make up a wild claim that he cannot possibly prove. What is he basing his 70% figure on? It's not like he has any prior history of a computer maker being suddenly successful with a phone and then deciding to release a search engine. It's just nonsense.

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (1)

Jay L (74152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726928)

What is he basing his 70% figure on?

Just the fact that you can't disprove a percentage with a one-time event. Apple does it? He predicted it. Apple doesn't? He predicted they might not.

It's like David Cross's character in Waiting for Guffman: The amazing thing about this field is that the weather never changes. There is always - ALWAYS - a 72% chance of rain.

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726710)

"Now Apple wants to enter a field in which they not only have no experience, but also lack experience "

Like, say, when they launched the first iPod and iTunes and all that, the way they hand no experience in the field of music?

Yeah, I'd say they have a good shot at this then.

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727144)

The iPod is a music player and iTunes an online music store. Apple still doesn't have any experience in the field of music.

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727148)

iPod is basically a mini computer, which fits rather neatly with their decades-old business of making computer hardware (Macs/Macbooks/Newton etc.)

iTunes (in it's original incarnation as a media player programme) is software relating to audio-visual stuff- an area Apple have been operating in to great success for a long time (Macs have aways had the reputation as "the computer to have" for people who need audio or visual editing software, etc.).

iTunes Store (the music store) is a music selling sight, launched after two years of great success in the media player market with the iPod. Not only that, but it's just a website with a payment section and a file server- things which no major electronics company would struggle with.

A search engine is a hugely complex system of search algorithms, web spiders, data handling and massive parallel computing with huge-scale server farms. It's just not the sort of thing Apple has done before.

I'm not saying they couldn't do it, and couldn't be amazing at it. It just stands pointing out that it is about as far from what Apple usually does as is possible while still being in the computing field. The odds of them doing well at it seems slim at first glance.

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726792)

They've actually made money on "Entertainment" (which includes stuff like Zune) the last 2 years.

I don't think they have made money overall on the XBox and friends, but they aren't continuing to lose money.

Re:Disregarding core competencies always ends badl (3, Informative)

the bluebrain (443451) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727064)

Not going into all the rest, but IBM's "foray"? Just off the top of my head, IBM more or less invented the "Personal Computer" as such, as the smaller version of mainframes and minicomputers (hence the term "microcomputer". Note: Altair, Apple IIe, etc. were "hobbyist/home computers" in their day). Microsoft originally supplied exclusively to IBM, and Intel was a spin-off, too. And this is consistent with IBM's strategy throughout the last decades: as soon as something looks as if it's heading in the direction of becoming a commodity, they drop it. Hard disks, for example. And they always do it early. IBM drops PCs - enter Dell; IBM drops hard disks - enter SSDs; always quite a few years down the line. IBM appears not the be interested in playing the margin game with n different competitors.
OK, now back to the rest: bullshit. Disregarding core competencies is a necessary part of progress. The Newton was closer to Apple's core competence that the iPod, when they came out, and we know which failed and which succeeded. Or the iPhone - damn, was that a saturated market when they started out, never having built a phone before.

And lo, a new rumour about Apple is now "fact". (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726560)

Yet another nonsense rumour that will now be considered as "fact", and a whole list of reasons why Apple are so evil for doing this, or why they will surely fail when it's nothing but pure hot air.

The comments already here are acting like this is an Apple press release.

Isn't there enough fodder without having to make stuff up?

Dubious (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726566)

I'm an Apple user and long-time developer for their platforms, and this seems highly unlikely. No, no for fanboi-ish reasons, but because Apple aren't adept at multitasking. Most companies would be able to bring out a new product, such as the iPad, without having half their product line fall into obsolesence -- their PowerMacs are now over a year old, and MacBook Pros are 10 months old. And as for search engines, have you tried the iTunes/App Store? It pales in comparison to what Amazon had 10 years ago; it is the main reason why apps see sales drop-offs that are at the very extreme end of a common phenomena. (It's also why, even as an App developer, I shop at Amazon and only go to iTunes occasionally for a price check. I actually don't buy apps because the store is so painfully useless.)

Apple's scope is very limited, their expertise is definitely not in search engines, and they have so far shown little interest in data-mining their customers -- it would seem beneath them in its most common usage. In short, there's very little reason to believe Jobs has any interest in pursuing it, much less that they'd be able to spare their focus on other things to work on it. They might slap together something as an off-hand type of thing, sure.

Re:Dubious (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726654)

I think that's really key. Whilst the iPhone was in development OS X stagnated, managing only a bugfix/performance release that in fact managed to introduce quite some new bugs that weren't in 10.5. Whilst the iPad has been in development, what happened with the iPhone? MobileMe? Even iTunes? Answer: not a whole lot.

Jobs claims he doesn't want to return some of Apples enormous cash pile to investors because he wants to do bold new things with it. Like what? Has Apple been using its cash pile to aggressively hire? If so I haven't seen much evidence of it. Facebook has been emailing people left and right to get interview candidates for example, but I didn't yet hear of anyone getting a letter from Apple recruiting (or maybe they did but they aren't allowed to talk about it, hah).

If Apple are really planning on doing their own maps or search engine (I doubt it) they'll need to show they can focus on more than one thing at once. Releasing a bunch of major new features for iPhone and MacOS X simultaneously would be a good start. Demonstrating some progress with iWork beyond an iPad port would also get attention.

Change the game! (4, Insightful)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726578)

Apple does well when they change the game, rather than simply trying to win a race on somebody else's terms. They also seem to have a good understanding of where their own strengths lie. I can't see them trying to compete head-on with Google but if they can find a way to make Google's strengths less relevant then I can see them doing that. That said, it's not like Apple doesn't have a few flops / vanity projects under its belt and it is sometimes seen as a company that would potentially set business decisions based on personal feeling. Their compass on business decisions is fairly good overall though, even though I'm not at all keen on the direction they want to take the industry.

Re:Change the game! (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726842)

Arguably what I said was basically the flip side of what Angst Badger has posted above, describing why head-to-head competition in search would not appear to be a good plan for Apple: http://search.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1606786&cid=31726544 [slashdot.org]

Re:Change the game! (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726944)

Well how Apple does that, often enough, is that they aim at existing technology that's poorly executed or has a poorly thought out user interaction and smoothing out some of the ugly edges. I'm not sure how they would do that here. Google search doesn't really have ugly edges in need of smoothing.

I could see Apple trying to take on Google Docs, Gmail, Google Voice, or almost any of Google's other projects, but I'm not sure how you take "type stuff in, hit enter, and get a list of sites in response" and make it easier or more intuitive.

I doubt it'll happen (1)

angelfly (746018) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726596)

Apple has already witnessed what happened to Bing. They know there's no success in creating a search engine simply to separate yourself. Sure Apple like to keep things closed but I doubt they'd go as far as trying to keep their users away from Google search.

Google "wants to kill Apple"? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726618)

From TFA:

An account posted on the Daring Fireball blog says the precise quote was "teams at Google want to kill us," specifically Google's Android team.

And yet most of the Google Android team folks probably use Macs. No, I'm not buying this. Perhaps they want to have their share of the big cellphone pie, but this was a clear exaggeration.

Missing the Point (1)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726628)

This isn't about taking market share away from Google, or Bing, or whatever; it's keeping Google out of what Apple views as an increasingly important source of market research. Right now, every natural search performed on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad goes through Google - so Google can view that data and use it to refine/improve/develop their own competing smartphone OS. By further locking in users to their own search engine, Apple effectively closes the pipeline of free research to Google - unless users explicitly go to the webpage of their search engine, which will only be done by a small, small number of users.

Re:Missing the Point (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726690)

Or it could be some blowhard speculating on what Apple is "70% assured" of doing - ie, total nonsense.

Re:Missing the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31727236)

unless users explicitly go to the webpage of their search engine, which will only be done by a small, small number of users.

Why only a small number of users? We know that most Windows users dliberately choose to use Google instead of the defalt (Live / Bing).

iSearch.com (3, Interesting)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726646)

Seems someone was smart enough to register isearch.com...

Registrant:
      Intelius
      500 108th Ave NE
      Bellevue, Washington 98004
      United States

      Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
      Domain Name: ISEARCH.COM
            Created on: 05-Oct-95
            Expires on: 04-Oct-10
            Last Updated on: 06-Sep-09

      Administrative Contact:
            Inc, Intelius dnsadmin@intelius.com
            Intelius
            500 108th Ave NE
            Bellevue, Washington 98004
            United States
            +1.4254546200

      Technical Contact:
            Inc, Intelius dnsadmin@intelius.com
            Intelius
            500 108th Ave NE
            Bellevue, Washington 98004
            United States
            +1.4254546200

      Domain servers in listed order:
            NS3.INTELIUS.COM
            NS2.INTELIUS.COM
            NS1.INTELIUS.COM

... in 1995... before Apple started using the "i" moniker...

BUT there may be some others available...

for i in co.uk net org tv co.nz cm cn tw me ru; do host isearch.$i; done
isearch.co.uk has address 89.234.20.148
isearch.co.uk mail is handled by 10 mail.isearch.co.uk.
connection timed out; no servers could be reached
isearch.org has address 64.95.64.198
isearch.org mail is handled by 0 dev.null.
isearch.tv has address 69.64.147.243
isearch.tv mail is handled by 10 p.nsm.ctmail.com.
Host isearch.co.nz not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
Host isearch.cm not found: 3(NXDOMAIN)
isearch.cn is an alias for park.goldenname.com.
park.goldenname.com has address 75.125.148.76
isearch.tw has address 202.65.208.187
isearch.tw mail is handled by 0 smtp.secureserver.net.
isearch.tw mail is handled by 10 mailstore1.secureserver.net.
isearch.me has address 68.178.232.143
isearch.me has IPv6 address ::1
isearch.me mail is handled by 0 smtp.secureserver.net.
isearch.me mail is handled by 10 mailstore1.secureserver.net.
isearch.ru has address 82.146.40.149
isearch.ru mail is handled by 10 mail.isearch.ru.
isearch.ru mail is handled by 20 mail.isearch.ru.

yikes, even based on this short list I drew up from memory the isearch domain name is hot!

Cuil? Yeah, right. (1)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726666)

I'd forgotten they even existed. I just gave 'em another try. I have a slightly obscure search I've had only indifferent results on with Google; about fifty hits, none quite the one I want. I gave Bing a try, and was gratified to find about the same number of hits but far from total overlap, and Bing gave me a few useful results Google hadn't given me.

Cuil? Zero hits, zip, none, nada.

This Is Wild Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726678)

There is absolutely nothing here to suggest Apple is considering building its own search engine. There isn't even any discussion being made here from anyone who is in any way affiliated with Apple. Nor is there any compelling argument being made that Apple should bother. As mentioned in the summary Apple doesn't have the expertise in the field to build a mobile search engine from scratch, so any attempt to enter in the market would require a very significant amount of initial investment. Furthermore, if Apple did bother with such idiocy it would quickly find itself completely incapable of competing with Google as a niche search engine simply cannot hold a candle to the vast amount of data that Google would have available to tailor search results. Finally, what's this "pent-up demand for better mobile search" nonsense? Are the browsing habits made on a smartphone really that different from what people do on their home computers? If anything the differences between a smartphone and a desktop computer are shrinking as time moves forward.

This article is nothing but wild speculation, and the headline here is very misleading.

Re:This Is Wild Speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726734)

This article is nothing but wild speculation, and the headline here is very misleading.

You must be new here.

Why? (2, Insightful)

Phroggy (441) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726700)

The data generated on the iPhone OS platform must become an increasing priority for Apple and we believe the company has the resources to develop its own products in both maps and search in the next five years

Why must it become an increasing priority for Apple? Because it's a high priority for other popular companies, and Apple needs to catch up to Google and Microsoft if it wants to remain trendy? Because raking in cash hand over fist from the sale of shiny new hardware isn't adequate; they need to start datamining too?

Traditionally, Apple has entered markets where the existing offerings sucked ass. When Apple introduced the Macintosh, WYSIWYG text editing was unheard of. When Apple introduced iTunes, nobody had a single app that could "Rip, Mix, Burn." When Apple introduced the iPod, existing portable MP3 players were difficult to use. When Apple introduced the iTunes Store, existing online music stores used cumbersome and intrusive DRM that wasn't Mac-compatible. When Apple introduced the iPhone, most people didn't browse the web on their cell phone, not because it was impossible, but because it was so awkward that it wasn't worth the effort. When Apple introduced Safari, it's because the best browser for the Mac at that point was Internet Explorer, which was already at the end of its life. When Apple introduced Keynote, it's because the visual presentations that Steve Jobs likes to do just can't be done in PowerPoint.

If Apple thinks they can do something that's so far above and beyond the capabilities of Google Search and Google Maps, they'll do it. If Apple thinks they can do something that sort of approaches the usability of Google's offerings and might be an adequate alternative, but isn't really mind-blowing and revolutionary, there's no way in hell.

Re:Why? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726830)

Firefox was around at the time Safari was released, as was a Mac-native (ie, Aqua UI) version called.... I forget now ... phoenix, chimera, something like that (had to keep changing the name). Apple's concern was that they had no bundled browser, other than the obsolete IE5, so they either had to roll their own or go with Firefox - as it turns out, they went for KHTML rather than Gecko.

I really don;t think they will get into search though - the article reads like a marketing company desperate for some page hits, with total nonsense content.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726882)

There were programs years before iTunes that you could rip, mix and burn with. Free ones on top of that.

Do you think Firefox was the first browser with tabs too?

Jews for Nerds! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726708)

Jews, also known as kikes, hebes, hymies, yids, gold niggers, oven magnets, hook noses, sheenies, swindlers, criminals, "firewood", and Arabs in denial are a subhuman species of reptilian extra-terrestrials and adherents to one of the world's oldest major religions, called "Judaism", otherwise known as "The Worship of Money" or "Eating Arab Babies".

Judaism was the world's first master race theory. The Jew religion teaches that Jews are the Chosen People of God and that there is a sacred mystical quality to Jew DNA. In olden times, Jew prophets would, under the command of YHWH, frequently lead the Jews on genocidal rampages against neighboring populations, and even today Jew leaders often cite Jewish religious ideals to justify their ongoing genocide of sandniggers. Judaism ironically found its mirror-image inversion in the anti-Jew Aryan racialism of the Nazis.

Despite only being 0.22% of the world's population, Jews control 99% of the world's money. Not only do the Jews control the world, but also the media, the banks, the space program, and LiveJournal's porn communities and Gay communities. All Jews possess the following features: an extremely large nose, fake boobs, curly hair that reeks of faggotry, one of those gay hats, a love of coke, a law practice, a roll of money, a small cock, or shitty taste in dental hygiene.

Jews invented both Communism and Capitalism. Karl Marx, of course, was a Jew, which was why he understood money so well, and in fact he was converted to Communism by another Jew, Moses Hess, the actual founder of Zionism, who ghost-wrote Marx's The German Ideology. Capitalism was created when Christian Europeans threw away their morals and decided to embrace Jewish practices like usury (see: John Calvin). Jews were the first group to create a sophisticated banking system, which they used to fund the Crusades in order to pit Christians and Muslims (both adhering to religions derived from and controlled by Jews) against each other to kill as many people as possible in a macabre human sacrifice to YHWH.

The Jew banking system was based on fraud and lies, so when it inevitably collapsed, the Jews just pwned as many people as possible by unleashing the Black Plague on them. Later, Jews economically controlled medieval Venice (the first modern maritime trade empire), and then crypto-Jewish merchants economically controlled the Spanish Empire, including the slave trade. Openly Jewish bankers orchestrated the Dutch Empire and founded Jew Amsterdam (later Jew York). Later the Dutch Jews moved to London because they thought it would be a better base for a global empire, and actually brought a Dutch nobleman, William III, with them, who they installed in a coup d'état (more like Jew d'état, amirite?) as new King of the British Empire. For hundreds of years, Jewish bankers controlled global trade through their bases in Jew York City and London. European colonialism was, through its history, essentially a plot whereby Jews could gain control of gold and diamond mines in poor countries and increase their stranglehold over the global economy.

Jews also enjoy slicing up baby penises for fun, some even enjoy sucking them. See below.

Jews also created Jew search engine Google, so now they can find all Jew information on Internets.

Some suggest that we should use Jews instead of dogs to sniff out large amounts of concealed cash or anything else worth smuggling at airports due to their sensitive Jew noses. Obviously, this is a horrible idea, because the pay is bad, and the dirty Kikes would probably form a union and demand moar money, thus increasing the burden on taxpayers everywhere.

Since they do everything better than everyone else (2, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726726)

I wish Apple would open a hamburger stand.

I sure could use an insanely great cheeseburger right now.

Re:Since they do everything better than everyone e (1, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726840)

Jobs is a vegetarian, so it's unlikely. It's also the reason that Apple doesn't make any leather cases or bags for their products.

Apple Search Experience (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31726730)

USER - search "{any song}"
RESPONSE - "You don't really want to search for that. It' hasn't been approved in iTunes. Here's what you want : {results}"

Hair on fire (1)

kubla2000 (218039) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726746)

Before we all set our collective hair on fire, if this does actually turn out to be the case and it's not a complete dud, then the value of consumer information as a commodity is going to increase and finally be recognised.

IMHO, this will only lead to:

1. better return for the information that's gleaned from our consumer habits
2. better protection for our individual privacy

Re:Hair on fire (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726962)

How will this lead to better protection for our privacy? I must have missed something. Especially since the basis of all of this is to "glean" mobile search information.

Greedy! (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726758)

Me thinks Apple is getting a bit greedy with their ever-closing grip on their users. What's next? An Apple version of the Internet for their jailed iphone users? I suppose another search option is not a bad thing, as long as it really is just an option...

Re:Greedy! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726846)

Apple are not getting greedy. Some analyst says "they will do this" and suddenly Apple is getting greedy?

Re:Greedy! (1)

RobVB (1566105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726892)

The possibility of the "Apple search engine" being an option never even entered my head.

Maybe I'm just being cynical.

We'll see.

Apple search (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726808)

I don't see how this would be useful - an Apple search engine would only return ONE result.

Gene Munster is a hack (5, Informative)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726872)

This is the same guy [google.com] who says Apple is going to put out an HDTV, too.

He's like a stopped clock that tweets two times a day -- everyone should stop paying any attention to him. Just don't look! [kottke.org]

OK (1)

koan (80826) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726894)

Sounds like the wrong reason to build a search engine "hey this is valuable data lets make our own proprietary system so we can profit and to keep the data away from google"

Apple Internet (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726964)

a.k.a. CompuServ 2.0 ?

Apple has smarter people running their company (1)

Whuffo (1043790) | more than 4 years ago | (#31726984)

The guys at Apple undoubtedly know that they could just buy this information all neatly sorted and packaged from Google for much, much less than it'd cost to capture it themselves.

Any talk of "competitive advantage" from being able to see what smartphone users search for is overrated. This is a market where things change quickly; look at your cell carrier's current crop of offerings and you'll see phones with capabilities that weren't common or even available a year or two ago. Most important: this information by it's nature is a measurement of where things were in the past.

Any competent businessman knows that when you're trying to hit a moving target you need to aim for where it's going to be, not where it is now. And Apple is a very good example of this kind of thinking - they've made a lot of money defining new markets and even now have things cooking in their labs that will define more markets in the future. Consider the iPod; many here blew it off as a useless also-ran. How about the iPhone? These pages were full of people saying that it was a failure. Now it's the iPad that's getting described as a failure - the early sales figures seem to say otherwise and we'll just have to wait and see. I wouldn't bet against Apple knowing what the market wants.

Apple == Limited, controlled and censored service (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727030)

This may be what some people want in their search services, but most people don't. Most people will want the good the bad and the ugly; not just what Apple approves of.

I'm looking forward to the day (3, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727102)

when we start hearing that Apple created search too.

In fact, apple fans are already lining up outside (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727120)

Apple stores so they can be the first to buy Apple's iSearch product.

They want their (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727234)

iSoma.

Your thoughts are for sale (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31727178)

That's all.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>