Apple is waging a ‘silent war’ against Google, engineers say

Former Apple engineers say Apple is still unhappy with how Android supposedly copied iOS and is steadily working to remove Google from the iPhone.

This is a very sparse report, but the Financial Times cites two former Apple engineers about the Apple-Google rivalry, and it’s in line with previous reports.

Both former engineers reportedly used the word “malice” to describe Apple’s relationship with Google, with one of them going further and calling it a “quiet war.” Neither source cites any further details, but the Financial Times reports that there are three battlefields in this war, and the first of these was Apple Maps.

The launch of Apple Maps in 2012 was so disastrous that the service is still unfairly viewed as inferior to the Google Maps it hoped to replace.

But Apple Maps was created because Google refused to give the iPhone the same turn-by-turn directions it gave on Android. It was a move by Apple to provide users with a feature that was becoming increasingly necessary and that would prevent buyers from switching to its competitor.

There is no such clear need for Apple to work on what the Financial Times describes as yet another battlefield, search. However, since at least 2015 there has been an AppleBot, a search engine that Siri and Spotlight have used from time to time.

This is clearly a separate service from offering a Google-style search experience to users, but it was one of the reasons reports continue to surface that Apple Search is coming.

However, this may have reached a dead end in late 2022 when key employees allegedly working on Apple Search left to return to Google.

There is a third area in which Apple is believed to be targeting Google, though this may just be an obvious expansion of its business rather than a “quiet war” attack. It’s Apple’s own advertising business that’s skyrocketing, even though the company’s privacy features allegedly affect third-party advertisers.

Apple did not comment on the Financial Times report.