Apple is increasing its range of smartphone services – should Google be worried?

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Apple is increasing its range of smartphone services – should Google be worried?

A report released by the Financial Times has referred to the “silent war” between rival tech giants, Google, and Apple, as both companies battle to improve their Smartphone offering.

The report describes how Apple is making moves to disconnect its mobile operating system from Google parent Alphabet, as it advances its own offering within maps, online advertising, and search in a bid to challenge rival Android and further separate from its rival, Google.

Apple Maps

The first feature is mapping. Apple released its own Maps as a pre-downloaded app back in 2012, and over the past decade, the feature has improved significantly. Apple Maps previously used a tool called Apple Business Register which provided basic information about a business, photos, reviews, and ratings. The new system gives businesses improved control over their information, so they can better promote their company.

Apple Search

This month, Apple announced new additions to Apple Search Ads regarding measuring impression share, rank and search popularity by search term, app, and country or region. The January release (4.7) enables advertisers to access impression share reports to allow paid media managers more scope in keyword and cost-per-tap (CPT) campaign optimisation. This positions the company well to take market share from Google in search and we are expecting a higher intensity in product development within this area in the future.

Apple Business Connect

Earlier this month, Apple released Business Connect, a new totally free tool which puts businesses directly in touch with its listings – without the need for Google. Businesses can now add more information to their listings and customise the way it appears across Apple’s services. Business Connect was designed to strengthen Apple’s information database so that it is better positioned to compete against Google and Meta.

Google’s biggest challenge

The biggest challenge for Google will be Apple’s ambitions for online advertising, where Alphabet currently makes more than 80 per cent of its revenues. A job post by Apple last summer indicated that the firm was seeking someone to, “drive the design of the most privacy-forward, sophisticated demand side platform possible.” The job ad suggested Apple intended to build its own ad network, which would change the way ads were delivered to iPhone users and keep third parties out of the loop.

Why does this matter?

Apple’s latest three updates are enough to significantly rock Alphabet’s position within iOS. Josh Koenig, chief strategy officer at Pantheon has indicated that if Apple were able to change the default setting for 1.2 billion iPhone users from Google to its own search function, people “might just prefer it.” Particularly if it was a simpler search engine that was less optimised for ads revenue. Koenig said; “Search is the key to huge troves of first-party data, and that’s the new battleground for the future of digital advertising.”