- Along with announcing a major revamp of iOS and Mac OS X's Spotlight search tool - integrated local/Web search, location-specific results, and more content-specific search options are some of the new features, Apple (AAPL +1.2%) has quietly disclosed it's dropping Google (GOOG -1.5%) as Spotlight's Web search provider in favor of Bing (MSFT -1%).
- Importantly, Google remains the default search provider for Safari, which in turn acts as the default iOS/Mac OS browser. But the Spotlight switch is still a noteworthy loss for Google, given the feature's tight integration with Apple's platforms - an iOS user only has to swipe down from his/her home screen to access Spotlight, and a new search box will provide quick access for Mac OS users.
- As for Bing, the deal provides a needed mobile win for a search engine estimated by StatCounter to have just a 5.48% global mobile/tablet search share as of May - 1.77% for Bing proper, 3.71% for Yahoo - to Google's 93.5%. Bing replaced Google as Siri's search engine last year.
- Separately, Apple has added DuckDuckGo as a Safari search option (along with Google, Bing, and Yahoo). DuckDuckGo tries to differentiate itself by emphasizing its privacy and security features - among other things, it doesn't store IP addresses or log user info.