Google knows that iPhone users mean big business- so much so that it paid Apple $1bn to be the default iOS search engine in 2014.
The revelations come as part of court documents produced during Oracle’s lawsuit against Google for a long-running copyright dispute over Java on Android phones.
The documents show that Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to be the preferred search engine on the iPhone, reported Bloomberg News.
Oracle’s lawyers also revealed that Apple and Google shared a portion of the revenue Google received from showing adverts to iOS users.
According to Oracle, “at one point in time” that share was 34% – although it wasn’t clear who got the larger end of that deal.
The payments kept Google as the default search engine for mobile Safari, allowing it to continue to cash in on iOS.
Being the default is important: when Apple switched from Google Maps to its own in-house team for the default map app on iPhones in 2012, the new app was criticised for its error-ridden maps.
Three years on, the default app was used three times as much as Google’s own app, according to Apple. That’s millions of users who Google can’t get data from or show adverts to.
The default search engine on Siri is Microsoft’s Bing, and that cannot be changed by the user.
Apple and Google both lobbied the court to strike the details of their search deal from court documents, Bloomberg reported, with Google arguing it was “highly sensitive.”
When Google asked the court to hide the details of the deal, it said the information could hinder similar deals with other companies, indicating that Google has muscled its way into default status on other platforms as well.
The blockbuster deal between Apple and Google shows how Google, which made $66 billion in revenue in 2014, can keep buying its way to search supremacy against rivals.
There was a report in 2014 that Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, was trying to get her own company’s product to be the default search engine on iPhones, but she did not succeed.