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Google's Sundar Pichai Discusses Search Partnership With Apple and iPhone 6 Success

SundarGoogle's Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Google Apps, recently spoke about his company's relationship with Apple in an in-depth interview with Forbes. The executive discussed a few topics related to Apple, including the impact of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on the high-end smartphone market and Google's long-standing search partnership with Apple that is rumored to be up in the air.

Questioned about the possibility of Apple ditching Google as the default search engine on iOS, Pichai did not appear worried and remains committed to building a product that users need. Google renewed its search partnership with Apple in 2010, although the contract is reportedly set to expire this year and there has been increasing speculation that Apple is considering a number of options. Both Microsoft and Yahoo have reportedly courted Apple to become the default search engine for Safari in the past.
Q: Your relationship with Apple is complicated. How concerned are you that you may lose them as a search partner on iOS?

A: There are areas with Apple in which we have always collaborated. We have had a long term search partnership. We work closely with them in areas like YouTube. When I look at search, largely the evolution depends on “are we bulding something which users need?” If we are building something that users need and there is a lot of value we are driving, I think how search manifests in iOS will work out just fine. We have a long term search partnership and are working together with them, and we’ll have to see.
Pichai also reflected on how Google expected the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to do very well for Apple, adding that Android is healthy both overall and in the high-end market. He adds that Android is building upon the momentum of one billion devices shipped and believes both Google and Apple are doing well as the smartphone industry continues to evolve.
Q: There’s a perception that as Samsung is going through some challenges, Apple is regaining share at the high end. Do you see that in the numbers?

A: Share is tough to assess. There is a lot of noise. Based on what we see things are healthy overall globally including the high end. Apple obviously has done very well with iPhone 6 and 6 plus, but we always expected that. We knew this would be a big upgrade cycle for them. To me looking at the momentum of having shipped a billion devices, people even on the high reporting high loyalty rates across Android, I haven’t seen anything to be concerned about. The bigger story here is a growing pie. All of us are doing well.
The full-length interview goes into more detail about the state of Google, touching upon a number of products and services such as Android, Nest, Google Wallet, Google Hangouts, Google Shopping Express and the Play Store. Pichai also reflects on competitors in various spaces, including Amazon in e-commerce and WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger in messaging.



Top Rated Comments

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52 months ago
Search is one of my favorite Google products, but I think Apple should drop them as the default. Other search engines are probably good enough for most people, and if they want they can easily change it back. A few years ago during a court proceeding Google provided documents that they make most of their money on iOS vs. Android. Even if Apple changed the default and it resulted in a loss of 10-20% of revenue for Google then that would be fantastic. Google messed up when they screwed over Apple. I like competition but they took it too far, and Steve Jobs was right to go thermonuclear on them.

I hope that Apple is working on their own search (as was rumored) with some of their other partners or startups. It's time for more competition in the search space. I'd use it just to get away from the Google creep factor. I just hope it doesn't end up like Maps.
Rating: 9 Votes
52 months ago
Search, Maps and Gmail. Things I have no interest in moving away from Google.
Rating: 8 Votes
52 months ago
He is really good at shoveling the poo
Rating: 7 Votes
52 months ago
Politician answers. What I don't like about Google.
Rating: 5 Votes
52 months ago

He adds that Android is building upon the momentum of one billion devices shipped

Key word: Shipped.


Still with the shipped vs sold nonsense? Please, can you point to those secret warehouses or wastelands were those hundred of thousands devices shipped but not sold are hidden?
Rating: 5 Votes
52 months ago

Search is one of my favorite Google products, but I think Apple should drop them as the default. Other search engines are probably good enough for most people, and if they want they can easily change it back. A few years ago during a court proceeding Google provided documents that they make most of their money on iOS vs. Android. Even if Apple changed the default and it resulted in a loss of 10-20% of revenue for Google then that would be fantastic. Google messed up when they screwed over Apple. I like competition but they took it too far, and Steve Jobs was right to go thermonuclear on them.

I hope that Apple is working on their own search (as was rumored) with some of their other partners or startups. It's time for more competition in the search space. I'd use it just to get away from the Google creep factor. I just hope it doesn't end up like Maps.


Why would that be fantastic? What's fantastic about making (especially the less savvy) users forced to use a search engine which is not as good as Google/have to fiddle around in Settings just to be spared having to use Bing or Yahoo?

I don't care how much money Google makes. Both Apple and Google make more than enough. And anyway, if Google somehow went bust it would be awful for the entire smartphone industry. Are you saying it would be better if there was actually less competition?

I, for one, hope Apple don't drop Google as the default option out of spite. It's clearly the best search engine by a long, long way.
Rating: 3 Votes
52 months ago

Android has become the windows of mobile but none of the profit like microsoft did in the 90s.


Consumers don't care about the profits that a company makes.

Only shareholders concern themselves with such things.
Rating: 2 Votes
52 months ago

I personally can't tell the difference between Google and Bing. In fact, I find Bing's UI far better than Google's. DuckDuckGo OTOH could definitely improve. I've been using that as my default search engine for a few months now and I find myself using Bing/Google every so often for better results.


Bing is the default at school so I've used both pretty extensively. Bing has got a lot better since it was first launched, but I still find Google's UI nicer, and their 'cards' they have often provide better contextual information than Bing.

Just as an example, this is a tab I had open on a Google Search. I tried it on Bing and I think you'd agree that, for that use, Google is a lot quicker at finding and presenting the information.
Rating: 2 Votes
52 months ago

Politician answers. What I don't like about Google.

If that is the yardstick, then you would not like most companies. Tim Cook is quite good at this as well. And look at Apple PR statements on injuries about if they bought a company :)

Elon Musk and John Legere are quite refreshing exceptions. Elon Musk even says the third rail of CEOs: "I think our stock is over valued"
Rating: 1 Votes
52 months ago

Politician answers. What I don't like about Google.


This is an amusing comment to make. All Execs make these types of comments. Is this what you really don't like about Google. Or maybe it's something else. Because if it's this - then you must have a long list of companies you "don't like"
Rating: 1 Votes

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