Yahoo! Reportedly Wants to Replace Google for iOS Default Search

| Analysis

Guess who wants to be Apple's mobile search sweetheart. Give up? No worries. Lemme Google that for you...

Aha, it turns out it's Yahoo!, whose CEO, Marissa Mayer, reportedly has a plan in the works to become the default search engine for Apple's iOS devices. According to Re/code, Ms. Mayer wants to leapfrog Google's choke hold on desktop search by developing a world class mobile and contextual search engine and the goal is to be the default option in Apple's mobile Safari.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer

Re/code's Kara Swisher billed the plan as a "secret," but it's a secret no longer. According to her sources, Yahoo! wants to get out from under the overhang of its contractual obligation to let Microsoft power Yahoo! search by focusing instead on mobile search.

Let no one say that Marissa Mayer lacks ambition, because replacing Google for search is a huge, monstrous ambition. No one does search as well as Google, and no one knows that better than Marissa Mayer, who lead development of a lot of what we know as Google search.

Apple knows that, too, and Apple knows that offering a best-in-class experience is key to the success of the iPhone. That's why when Apple is in a fierce and bitter battle with Google and its Samsung over Android, Apple keeps Google as the default search option in Mobile Safari. Yes, Google pays for it to the tune of a billion smackeroos a year, but Apple wants users to have the best search experience they can.

But Ms. Mayer thinks she can change Apple's mind, and has gone so far as to develop presentation decks for Apple that include images of how Yahoo! search on mobile Safari would look. She has also, " buttonholed a few Apple executives on the topic, including its powerful SVP of design, Jony Ive, who knows the former Google exec well."

It wasn't so long ago that most folks were writing Yahoo! off, but Marissa Mayer has done some amazing things with the company since taking over from the idiots who hired Microsoft to run their search business. If that ends up including disrupting mobile search or some real competition for Google, that will make the search business interesting again.

Keep in mind that Yahoo! already provides weather and stock informaiton for Siri, too.

Popular TMO Stories



Led development, not lead development. Even though these words can be pronounced the same, they do NOT mean the same when said the same way.


except yahoo doesn’t even do search anymore.  it just repackages bing now.

John Dingler, artist

Hi Jeff,
Swisher’s blurb is good news only because the apparent turn of events between the three techs is extremely interesting and it promises to produce many articles describing developments as they unfold.

Her Type A personality seems to be shaking things up in that Type C company.

Dave Nelson

I disagree with the premise that nobody does search as well as Google. I switched from Google to Bing and can’t see a difference. Is there some published test ranking the accuracy and completeness of the search companies?

Dorkus Maximus

Maybe Yahoo! can hire a bunch of people to look at all the websites out there and put them in categories, kind of like a library of the Web….

Oh wait, they tried that already.

Lee Dronick

Dave, I too had switched to Bing, over a year ago, and am able to find what I need.

Lee Dronick

Is Google weak at seach?

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account