Yahoo has been working on a secret mobile search engine in hopes of partnering with Apple and becoming its default search engine, according to a report.
Both Yahoo's chief executive Marissa Mayer and senior vice president of mobile and emerging products, Adam Cahan, have been spearheading the effort, according to the Re/Code. Apple's devices use the Safari browser and Google is the default search engine, but they can be changed to either Yahoo or Bing.
But Yahoo wants more than just being an alternative, it wants to be Apple's search engine partner and will be wooing Apple with a knockout presentation, unnamed sources told the Re/Code. That presentation to Apple executives hasn't happened yet but Mayer already is friendly with Apple's design chief Jony Ive, so it seems likely it will happen.
“This is the aim of the whole effort here, to grab the pole position in iOS search,” an unnamed source working on the effort told the Re/Code. “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.”
Apple's relationship with Yahoo has been a positive one, but the Cupertino, Calif. company has beeing seeing Google as a threat rather than a partner. A move to push the search giant off of its iOS may be what Apple really wants. However, Google also pays Apple about $1 billion a year, and Google is so popular with consumers that it's now a verb. Yahoo doesn't have the name recognition or the technology yet, so it has a rough road ahead -- unless it can win over Apple with a truly fabulous presentation and mobile search engine.