By default, your iPhone uses Google Search as your default search engine in Safari and in Siri. Google pays for that privledge and, according to Goldman Sachs’ Rod Hall, that could be to the tune of a cool $9 billion to Apple.
Hall told a group of investors today that, based on the fact that Google pays a per search fee on searches generated from Safari and Siri, that the Mountain View company is paying a hefty pay-to-play fee to Cupertino-based Apple.
We believe this revenue is charged ratably based on the number of searches that users on Apple’s platform originate from Siri or within the Safari browser
Indeed, Hall expects this to go up next year.
Indeed, with the number of iPhone users increasing, Hall expect that Google will have to pay somewhere near $12 billion next year. Of course, these figures are estimates and do not necessarily reflect reality. It could well be that Google is paying far less than this number each year.
Even if the numbers are correct however, it is a small price to pay for Google. The search engine giant makes some $32 billion in the last quarter alone. Spreading out a $9 billion payment over a year isn’t really going to make a significant dent in the company’s profitability.