It has been estimated by Wall Street Goldman Saches (via Business Insider, registration req’d) that Google is going to hand over a massive $9 billion to Apple in order to remain the default search engine for Apple’s Safari browser. In the report, it is believed that the number could very well grow to $12 billion over the next year.
Court documents in Oracle’s copyright suit against Google in 2014 asserted that “Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014.” Wall Street firms estimated the number at between $1 to 1.3 billion at that time.
Third party estimates in 2017 put the the figure that Google pays Apple at $3 billion. There was disagreement and uncertainty about if this is a straight fee based off traffic or query volume or if there’s a revenue share on ad revenue that is generated by Safari as part of the agreement.
Looking at it from a global perspective, Safari has the second largest market share after Google’s Chrome (59.7 percent vs. 14.5 percent). Safari delivers 31 percent of internet traffic to Chrome’s 49 percent in the US.
Wall Street analysts have been very pleased with the growth of Apple’s services revenue, which was reported to be $9.55 billion in Q3, up 31 percent since last year. Google’s payments to Apple would fall into this “services” category.