Apple almost bought Bing back in 2020

Microsoft Bing logo
(Image credit: Microsoft Bing)

With a wearable air purifier and a robot chef, 2020 was already a weird year for tech. Now, with the news that Apple almost bought Bing, it just got a whole lot weirder.

As originally reported by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Dina Bass, Microsoft representatives met up with Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, to discuss the idea of Apple buying the search engine Its creator

Apple chose not to pursue this deal due to the income it was already making from Google, the most popular search engine in the world, and because it believed Bing didn’t compare to Google in regards to ‘quality and capabilities’. 

A strong relationship

This week, Eddy Cue testified in the US vs. Google antitrust trial, justifying Apple’s decision to use the browser. Cue said “We make Google be the default search engine because we’ve always thought it was the best. We pick the best one and let users easily change it.” He further states “Certainly there wasn’t a valid alternative to Google at the time.” 

Though he sees it as the best default choice, Cue argued that a user could change the search engine at any time, which might suggest that the user’s decision not to change the engine is indicative of its quality. Given so many users automatically install Chrome on fresh computer installs, this comment doesn’t seem unfounded. 

As of right now, you can change your default search engine to Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Ecosia in iOS17. The introduction of OpenAI functions in Bing has made the engine more popular as of late but Google is working on its own AI chatbot function, as Apple continues to put resources into emerging AI technology. 

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.