Apple is working on improving its search features which the company is already reportedly using for some of its apps. Currently, this tool is currently available in some Apple apps and is expected to be introduced to the App Store, macOS, and iOS in the future to provide more accurate search results.
According to Mark Gurman’s Power On Newsletter, Apple’s search engine tool, called ‘Pegasus,’ has been in existence for some time. John Giannandrea, formerly with Google, is actively working with his team to better integrate it into Apple apps. Furthermore, Apple is also said to be improving this search engine/tool with generative AI, following in the footsteps of Google and Microsoft to improve search functionality.
Gurman notes that if the search tool evolves into a search engine, it “could potentially create a revenue stream similar in size to that of the Apple Watch.” However, the realization of this potential depends on various factors, with one constant goal being increased revenue for Apple and reduced dependence on Google.
While Google has paid Apple a portion of its search earnings for allowing Google to be the default search engine on iPhones and Macs (approximately $8 billion in recent years), Apple could potentially increase its earnings by introducing its own solution.
The report also mentions that Apple has been actively seeking new engineers for its machine learning team and has made strategic acquisitions to lay the groundwork for its AI and search ambitions. In 2019, Apple acquired Laserlike, which is an AI-centric search engine founded by ex-Google employees.
It isn’t clear when Apple may bring its own search engine, if it does at all. However, given the growing importance of generative AI and search in general, Apple will certainly try to follow Google and Microsoft to ensure it doesn’t get left behind in the rapidly advancing AI race.