Should Apple Fight Google On Search?

The much-hyped launch of the iPad underscored just how much mobile data Apple's customers will generate and consume in the coming years. But today that data often flows through the domain of the company's arch-frenemy, Google, leading industry analysts to predict that Apple would do well to create a mobile search engine of its own.

Dating back to sunnier days in the relationship between the tech giants, Google services are tightly integrated with Apple's mobile devices, providing maps and default web browser searches. That gives Google highly valuable data on the behavior of nearly half of all mobile users in the United States.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster thinks there is a 70 percent chance that Apple will come out with its own search engine in the next five years -- an extension of the nascent war between Apple and Google over the lucrative mobile advertising market.

Munster added in a research note that Apple could even offer a better experience than Google by leveraging data from its App Store and utilizing its devices' touch interfaces to display results in a more user-friendly way.

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Niraj Chokshi is a former staff editor at TheAtlantic.com, where he wrote about technology. He is currently freelancing and can be reached through his personal website, NirajC.com. More

Niraj previously reported on the business of the nation's largest law firms for The Recorder, a San Francisco legal newspaper. He has also been published in The Hartford Courant, The Seattle Times and The Age, in Melbourne, Australia. He's also a longtime programmer and sometimes website designer.

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