Apple, Inc. Quietly Declares Search War on Google

Microsoft Bing finds an ally in Apple as the software giant's search technology continues to get more presence throughout iDevices. Should Google be scared?

Jun 4, 2014 at 12:00PM

Throughout Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) WWDC keynote yesterday, the Mac maker highlighted various ways that it's bolstering its search capabilities. More importantly, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing continues to get more and more love from Cupertino, as it will power Spotlight's web search. This comes as Apple transitioned Siri's search to Bing last year. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL) remains the default search provider in Safari, so it still enjoys the dominant distribution channel given current usage patterns.

One step at a time, Apple continues to slowly move away from Google for search wherever possible. For now, Apple is likely stuck in a long-term contract with Google, but it seems feasible that Apple may want to ditch Google in the long term. It has already shifted away from other Google services such as Google Maps.

Bing has made gains in domestic market share, and that upward trend could continue with Apple's help. Apple owns the front-end interface and Bing powers the back-end, so this war is taking place behind the scenes.

Ultimately, the consumer will have a say, though, as Apple always wants to offer the best product. If consumers still feel that Google is a superior search engine, which is likely the current perception, then Apple will need to respect those preferences.

In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses Apple and search with Evan Niu, CFA.

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Erin Kennedy owns shares of Apple. Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple and has the following options: long January 2015 $460 calls on Apple and short January 2015 $480 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Google (A and C shares). It recommends Yahoo! and owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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