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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is reportedly working on a plan to convince Apple to change the default iOS search engine from Google to a new Yahoo solution, which could deal a significant blow to Google's ad income.
Citing unnamed sources, Re/code reports Mayer and Yahoo SVP of mobile Adam Cahan are "aggressively" working to increase revenue with a pair of search-related projects. Most important, sources say, is a search engine and monetization platform that would harness Apple's vast user iPhone and iPad user base by usurping Google as iOS' default search engine.
"This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search," said one source who is reportedly working on the project. "It will take more than pretty pictures though to convince Apple to give up Google, given its focus on consumer experience being top-notch. But Marissa wants it very badly."
Google search has for quite some time been the default search engine in iOS and powers Safari, while Microsoft's Bing now drives Siri. Apple's decision to stick with Google's services is in part due to a familiar user experience. Google also pays Apple some $1 billion per year for traffic driven to its servers and subsequent ad network.
As noted by the publication, Yahoo has in the past attempted to build out its search engine and ad technology offerings, but those swings have largely missed. Mayer's renewed effort is said to be in advanced stages, with a detailed overview and images already prepared for pitching Apple executives. Mayer has supposedly wrangled support from a few Apple execs including longtime acquaintance Jony Ive.
With the latest iOS revisions, Apple has included Yahoo's data into an increasing number of apps and services. Most apparent is the Weather app, though iOS also calls on Yahoo for sports scores and other information.
Currently, iPhone and iPad users can switch to Yahoo's existing service or Bing via the iOS Settings app or when activating a new device.