But 2017 third party estimates had put the the figure that Google pays Apple at $3 billion. Despite increased competition with respect to search over the past few years, there's no denying that Google is still the best search engine on the planet.
When Apple first introduced the iPhone, the decision to use Google as the default search engine on mobile Safari was essentially a no-brainer. Even for Apple, Google's dependence has been rewarding to its services segment, which generated $9.55 billion in Q3 - 31 percent spike compared with past year. After all, Google was unquestionably the dominant search engine at the time and Microsoft's Bing wouldn't even arrive on the scene until June of 2009.
Google Chrome is the most popular browser on the planet, so there's no question that it has Google Search set by default.
Google's prominence in mobile Safari, though, isn't a benefit Apple bestows upon the search giant free of charge.
The relationship between Google and Apple has always been interesting.
As for Apple, it can turn the screws on Google for what amounts to "easy money", but if the company gets too greedy, customers will see their default results taken over by providers that often don't provide as comprehensive results.
Goldman estimated the $9 billion is coming from Google, which pays Apple for the privilege of being the built-in search engine on Apple's Safari web browsers, on Siri and some other spots on Apple devices. For Google, the iPhone is a major source of traffic to its search engine, and every one of those searches is an opportunity to show ads and collect targeting data.
The amount that Google pays to Apple is only a fraction of the overall money it is making through advertising alone.