Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been between a rock and hard place in terms of a search engine to include in its products for a number of years. When the iPhone was first introduced both the mapping and search features were powered by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and Google still powers the iOS’s default Safari browser today. However, Apple went ahead and developed its own map capability and a few years later even brought in Bing search to replace Google search for its virtual assistant Siri.

Apple

Stick with Bing, switch to Yahoo or…

According to Ross Rubin of CNET, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is going to have to make a big decision about search sometime in the next few months. Rubin points out the original selection of Bing was “choosing the lesser of two evils”. iPhone users weren’t all that happy with Bing, especially the first year or two, but Apple could get away with it as Bing search was good enough for a secondary feature in Siri.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) understands that a top quality search engine is mandatory for a browser, so they really had no choice but to stick with Google for Safari. Although Bing has improved significantly, it’s simply not in Google’s league. Apple also has reason to be unhappy given Bing has been cited as a key part of several upcoming Windows Phone features including local search and its new natural language voice assistant Cortana.

Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s search, of course, comes to mind given that the company doesn’t compete with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in terms of hardware. However, many analysts question whether Yahoo’s engine can really compete against Google or is even that much better than Bing,

…develop Apple search

Rubin says this complex situation leads one to surmise there is a good chance that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will take the plunge and invest some of its considerable resources into developing its own search engine. As Rubin points out, building up its web search ability would solve several problems simultaneously in permitting Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to standardize its new engine across web browsing and Siri.