Google is reportedly gearing up to compete against Apple’s Safari by releasing its own version of Chrome web browser for iOS. As noted by Macquarie Equities Research, the search engine giant might release its mobile web browser for iOS this quarter. Because of this, it appears that a new browser war will take place—this time, on mobile devices.
The Chrome for iOS Benefit
The research firm released a lengthy note suggesting that Chrome for iOS would reduce the amount that Google has to pay to Apple for every Google searches in the Safari browser. Considering the popularity of iOS devices, reduction of payments would be meaningful for the search engine giant.
However, it is unlikely for a third-party browser to become a major success in iOS devices. That’s because Apple originally didn’t allow such browsers. It was in 2009 when third-party browsers started appearing on the App Store. Prior to that, browsers that would rival the Safari were rejected.
Although the Cupertino-based company allowed it, third-party browsers cannot be set as default. This means that all email links, texts or other apps will always open in Safari, regardless of which browser is installed. Apple is known for having full control of its devices, and that is less likely to change. Taking this into consideration, Chrome for iOS has a great possibility to have the same fate.
The Browser War Part II
Because of Google’s attempt to go against Apple’s Safari, Macquarie believes that mobile browser wars are starting. Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter stated that Chrome for PCs has been a “home run” for the search engine giant, as it has “significantly” decreased the costs for desktop traffic acquisition. However, it is less likely for their mobile browser to become successful just because of its achievement in desktop browsers.
Desktop and mobile devices are different devices, and assuming that both will take the same path is an error in judgment. A few may use the Chrome for iOS, but owners of iOS devices are best poised to acquire benefits by incorporating Chrome’s best features in the next versions of mobile Safari. Regardless, Schachter expects that Google will launch a huge marketing campaign for the debut of Chrome for iOS.
Although it is not yet available for iOS devices, Google’s Chrome web browser has been available for Mac, Windows and Android. All of its existing versions are based on Apple’s open source WebKit layout engine.