Originally published: February 13, 2013
Last updated: February 15, 2013 - 11:15am
Google is expected to pay an estimated $1 billion to Apple in 2014 to keep its search engine as the default on iOS devices because, well, Google makes a huge portion of its mobile revenue from iPhones and iPads — enough to make rivalries disappear.
Last year, Google paid $417 million for the exclusive search rights, up from just $82 million in 2009. Given the monster growth track of Apple devices, as well as the per-device rate Apple charges Google for prime search real estate, the exclusivity cost is expected to double over the next two years. And even though it seems a strange partnership for the sometimes rivals — they're competing over phone software, and Google's results show up in Apple's competing browser — the iPhone and iPad business is lucrative enough for Google's search advertising business that it might even be considered a steal.