Google could be paying Apple close to $9 billion in order for it to remain the default search engine on Safari on iOS, says a new report by Goldman Sachs analyst Rod Hall, who wrote about this in a note given to clients. What’s more, Hall estimates this number could go up to $12 billion in 2019, though of course, neither company will publicly come out to confirm the numbers.
Google is the default search engine on Safari on iOS, though Siri also relies on Microsoft’s Bing for search on the web. According to the note, which was accessed by Business Insider, Hall estimated that Apple is getting around $9 billion per year for this deal from Google, a number that will continue to grow.
In 2014, court filings had revealed that Google paid Apple $1 billion for this search deal, which is the only confirmed number as far as this search deal is concerned.
Interestingly, Hall adds that “Apple is one of the biggest channels of traffic acquisition for Google,”
Keep in mind that Apple and Google had a close relationship across products earlier, especially on mobile, though that changed drastically over the last few years.
While earlier versions of iOS had YouTube and Google Maps as default apps which were pre-loaded on to the device, in 2012, the entry of iOS 6 ended. Both were removed as pre-loaded apps, though they continue to remain on the App Store. It was also reported that YouTube was pulled down as the default because Google requested this, and not because of an Apple decision.
Coming to how much Google is paying Apple for being the default engine, the analyst’s report also notes that the payment is only a “fraction of the money Google makes on iOS through paid searches.” The Business Insider report also says that in 2017 analyst Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein had said that Google was paying Apple $3 billion per year for the search deal.