I'm wary to link this article, because it has two things that I hate:
- VentureBeat's godawful site.
- Tech writer suggesting they know exactly what Apple should do to succeed.
But I'd be lying if I said that my knee-jerk reaction to this wasn't a quiet nod to myself. With Apple's persistent drumming of the topic of privacy, and DuckDuckGo's incredible growth, we're seeing that there are a lot of people out there that value privacy as an option. These two entities have already been buddying up with one another. With DuckDuckGo's apparent ability to stand up to Google from a technical standpoint (which will only continue to get better with time), and a tight integration with Apple's ecosystem, it could prove to be a worthwhile move on Apple's part. It would also show that Apple is willing to put its money where its mouth is, considering they wouldn't take the Google approach of monetizing through targeted ads based on user data. This would be a long-term solution to further establishing trust with their customers by fighting to protect their data.
Of course, there are the inevitable questions. Could the search data ever be truly as effective as Google's if it's not truly personalized? Could all this anonymous search data be harnessed to make Apple's products as responsive and contextually relevant as Google Now and the like? Is Search even something Apple is remotely interested in owning themselves?
I can definitely see the benefits to this, and owning the experience completely would be a better long-term option than a partnership if DuckDuckGo suddenly finds themselves in a place where they decide to expand beyond Search with the same sort of ambition Google has displayed in the last decade.