Ever since Apple replaced Google Maps with its own solution there have been rumors that Google Search might be next on the chopping block. Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer has called the Safari search deal one of the premiere search deals in the world, and that her company would be more than happy to take over.
Google’s VP of products, Sundar Pichai, doesn’t sound worried about Google losing its spot anytime soon though. In an interview with Forbes, Pichai touched on his company’s complicated search relationship with Apple, saying the best way to avoid getting sidelined is to keep adding innovative features.
“When I look at search, largely the evolution depends on ‘are we building something which users need?'” said Pichai. “If we are building something that users need and there is a lot of value we are driving, I think how search manifests in iOS will work out just fine. We have a long term search partnership and are working together with them, and we’ll have to see.”
Tim Cook has taken shots at Facebook and Google publicly for monetizing its users, but Pichai defended his company saying “It’s a bit irresponsible to say everything should be many hundreds of dollars [as most Apple products are]. We have figured out a way to provide important services to users responsibly. I think that matters. Most users if you ask them, they are comfortable with how it works.”
In many ways the company is still catching up to the mobile vision Steve Jobs had. Yesterday the company released a new feature that automatically converts Flash into HTML5 markup language when uploaded to AdWords. Jobs you’ll remember was a notorious Flash hater.
Pichai also announced that Google is bringing ads to the Google Play store. The new ads could bring another multi-billion dollar revenue stream to the company that still makes the bulk of its profits off web search ads. More than 1 billion people globally use the Android operating system which led to more than $7 billion being paid to developers in 2014. Apple doesn’t have ads in the App Store, but it paid $10 billion to developers last year.