Consider the flipside perspective, too. What if it were Apple honing in on Google’s lucrative search advertising business, building up profiles on Web searchers via Safari and displaying targeted ads within the browser during Google searches? Or selling the search behavior of Safari users to Microsoft so that it could improve Bing at Google’s expense? I can hardly imagine Google would be happy about Apple using Google search data to threaten its bread-and-butter business. In fact, whatever deal Google and Apple have struck for Safari’s search bar probably already prohibits that kind of behavior. Does that sound anticompetitive to you? Or is it just the sign of a company protecting its crown jewels from a fierce competitor?
The big difference is that, if Apple did attempt to “hone in” on Google search, and Google took steps to prevent it, Apple, not Google, would be derided as the aggressor. Such is the tech tide flowing against Apple.
Apple’s secrecy pisses tech pundits off. Push comes to shove, the majority of them will support the company with free-flowing PR every time. Any communication, whether vapor, marketing speak or statistical manipulation is better to them than a “no comment”, and typically reported with little question. It’s why they proclaimed Microsoft King the better part of 20 years.