Last week, Yahoo and Mozilla announced a new partnership that would place Yahoo’s search engine as the default in Mozilla’s Firefox browser instead of Google’s.
Now, there’s a chance Apple could make a similar move in 2015.
Apple’s contract with Google, which implements Google’s search engine as the default in Apple’s Safari browser, is expiring next year, according to The Information’s Amir Efrati.
Yahoo and Microsoft have already started pitching Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of internet products and services, on the idea of replacing Google with their respective search engines, sources have told Efrati.
Apple has been trying to decrease its reliance on Google, one of its biggest rivals, for years. As of now, Google is the default search engine in both the web and mobile versions of Safari. This means millions of Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users are exposed to Google’s search engine every day. That’s a valuable spot Yahoo and Microsoft seem eager to take, according to Efrati.
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been trying to wean Apple products off of Google’s services, since 2008, as The Information notes, by stripping out services such as Google Maps and YouTube that previously came pre-installed on iPhones until 2012.
Now, Google Search could be another Google-powered service that will no longer come as a default on Apple products. That is, if Apple does decide to pursue a partnership with Microsoft or Yahoo instead. The decision will likely be based on the quality of the search engine as well as how much money there is to be made from search ads, Efrati reports.
Bing already serves as the default search engine for Siri, so it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see Apple make a similar move with Safari.