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Rumor that Apple will launch a web search engine pops up again

AR evangelist Robert Scoble believes that Apple will unveil a new user-centric web search engine similar to Google's, but is waiting until January 2023 to do so.

It's not as if rumors of Apple creating a Google rival are new, but they aren't common, either. Now Robert Scoble has been detailing everything he believes Apple is about to launch, from WWDC to next year, and has revived the search engine rumor.

Scoble offers no further detail in his Twitter thread, but did tell TechRadar Pro that he bases this partly on conversations with sources, and partly on deduction.

Previously Scoble has said that Apple would launch its VR "bases this">Apple Glass" at WWDC 2022 — and come alongside a "new iPod."

That claim originated on Twitter as well, but Scoble soon followed it with another tweet that tried to walk back all of his Apple claims.

"Consider anything I say about Apple as untrustworthy," he tweeted. "But it is informed."

There is a precedent for Apple replacing a Google service. It did exactly that with ditching Google Maps in favor of its own Apple Maps, although that didn't start well.

Plus Apple does already have a search engine which powers Siri and Spotlight. So it wouldn't appear to be an enormous stretch for Apple to expand that into a full Google-style general search service.

Should Apple launch this general search engine for users, it will likely lose a great deal of money. For it's been previously reported that Google expected to pay Apple $15 billion over the course of 2021, in order to remain as the default search engine on iOS. If correct, that one deal was the equivalent of between 15% and 20% of Apple's annual profits in 2020.

At the time, it was suggested that Google was paying this amount in order to avoid losing its default search engine status to Microsoft Bing.