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TheStreet Open House

Will Steve Jobs Make an Apple Product Announcement?

Stocks in this article: AAPL

In the aftermath of his post, Miller admits the obvious -- he made it all up. And, to his credit, it wasn't as if he was ever trying to pass off what he wrote as real or definitive. (Though he subtly leaves that possibility open).

You can write Miller off as some flavor of eccentric freak -- he's pictured wearing a robe (or oversized towel) on a boat in the header of his blog -- or pay attention to his core thesis:

The points I was trying to make in my post where 1) Google is very vulnerable to someone like Apple entering the search business 2) Google does a mediocre job at doing almost anything, including search, so it was not be hard for Apple to do a better job and, 3) there is always a technology breakthrough and someone out there ... that will do to Google what Google did to other early search companies like Alta Vista, or Yahoo. I stand by all that.

And I agree with all that.

On one hand I respect Google's model. The strength of its core advertising business allows it to venture into other areas without much risk. Google can afford to flop in some spaces it enters or merely dabbles in, such as hardware. However, OTOH, this approach could -- someday -- backfire on Google.

Imagine if Apple -- or somebody else for that matter -- did search and did it better or even just as good as or slightly worse than Google. It wouldn't be like Yahoo! (YHOO) or Bing search, which just sort of exists. We know it's there. We take it for granted. It really doesn't matter. It would be an Apple or Facebook storming into the territory with their massive, built-in and relatively loyal user bases making a serious splash. (And Facebook's "graph search" doesn't count).

A serviceable (or better) search product from Apple could put serious hurt on Google, even if Apple didn't include an advertising component. If "iFound" became the default search engine for Apple's Safari browser in iOS and OS X that just means fewer clicks on Google's spam-like ads.

Imagine Apple launching iFound.com and promoting it heavily on primetime television, during sporting events, during the previews at the movie theater, on billboards in major cities ... you name it. It would represent an all-out assault that it appears Google would not be prepared to counter.

Given his pledge to declare thermonuclear war on Google and Android, it would be more than fitting for Steve Jobs to have recorded an introduction for iFound prior to his death. That might sound tasteless to you now, but the moment it actually went down at an Apple event, you -- and the rest of the world -- would, rightfully, fall in line calling it everything from "genius" to "poignant." 

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a full-time columnist for TheStreet. He lives in Santa Monica. Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.
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