Back in 2018, Google CEO Sundar Pichai asked Apple CEO Tim Cook to ship iPhones with the Google Search app pre-installed, but Cook ultimately didn't support the idea. This information comes as a result of the ongoing antitrust lawsuit Google faces from the US Department of Justice and was shared by The Verge.
As a result, Pichai said Cook should consider allowing Google to develop an app or some other proprietary interface for the iPhone that would encourage people to use Google search more often. “We said one of the things that works well on Android and is driving more usage is the Google Search app. So I proposed creating a Google search app for iOS… and we will support this product for many years,” Pichai said.
Although the Apple iPhone comes preloaded with a number of Apple-made apps, Apple has never offered pre-loaded ones. third-party apps, which is likely why the company did not accept Pichai's proposal.
Pichai said he meets with Cook about once a year to discuss Google's search agreement with Apple, which was the main focus of the antitrust lawsuit against Google. The US Department of Justice believes Google has a monopoly on search that has turned it into the “gatekeeper of the Internet”, and the government is taking aim at some of the “exemption agreements” Google has with companies like Apple.
Customer Services Executive Apple's Eddie Cue testified at the trial in September and said Apple is using Google as its default option because the company has “always considered it the best” and because there is “no valid alternative.”
Google is currently the default search engine on all Apple devices. Although the search engine on Apple products can be changed, many customers do not prefer to choose from other options, including Bing, Ecosia, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo. If the lawsuit finds that Google engaged in antitrust activities, the deal between Apple and Google could be terminated, which would require Apple to provide additional search engine options as part of the Apple device setup process.
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