Google pays $9 billion to stay the default iPhone search engine


The amount Google pays Apple to remain the default search engine in Safari might be higher than you expect.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Google is the default iPhone search engine in the Safari web browser, but not because Apple thinks it’s the best option. No, Google will pay $9 billion this year for the privilege, according to an analyst’s estimate.

And the amount could be much higher next year.

The estimate comes from Rod Hall at Goldman Sachs. “We believe this revenue is charged ratably based on the number of searches that users on Apple’s platform originate from Siri or within the Safari browser,” Hall told investors in a note this morning,

Hall went on to say that Google’s payment to Apple next year could be as much as $12 billion.

Of course, it’s possible the Goldman Sachs analyst’s estimate is off. Last year, a Bernstein analyst pegged the number at $3 billion. Back in 2013, the annual payment was $1 billion.

About $10 per iPhone user

As of last year, there were about 715 million iPhones in use, according to BMO Capital Markets. And that total has surely grown in the last 18 months. If that figure, and Hall’s estimate of annual payments, are both correct it means Google is paying Apple approximately $10 a year for every iPhone user.

Anyone who’d prefer to not use Google as the default search engine on their iPhone can easily change this. Just go to the Settings app and scroll down to Safari. Near the top is Search Engine. Tap on that, then select from Google, Yahoo, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.

Source: Business Insider


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