It may be Google’s worst nightmare. Apple’s iPhone is stealing share from Samsung phones powered by Google’s Android software. At the same time, U.S. antitrust regulators are scrutinizing Google’s search deal with Apple, raising the prospect that Google’s search may lose its favored position in the Safari browser on iPhones.
These twin developments, which threaten Google’s mobile ads business, have prompted the tech giant to take a big gamble. It is doubling down on investment in its own hardware, including its Pixel phones, including by moving product development and software engineering staff working on features for non-Google hardware to work on Google-branded devices, according to an internal document viewed by The Information.