OS 8 Spotlight

Android may have the upper hand in smartphone market share, but Apple could be about to hit Google where it really hurts. A new job listing on its website suggests that the company could be working on its own search engine that will go head-to-head with Google’s.

Apple is seeking an engineering project manager who will become part of the so-called “Apple Search” team that will manage the backend operations “for a search platform supporting hundreds of millions of users,” the listing says.

The successful candidate will, “Play a part in revolutionizing how people use their computers and mobile devices.”

Analysts have been predicting a Google Search competitor from Apple for a number of years — Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has been telling us there’s a 70% chance it will happen since 2010 — and it’s an idea that makes a lot of sense.

It’s not easy to compete with Google when it comes to search, but it wouldn’t be as difficult for a company like Apple. If it was to make its own search engine the default provider for services like Spotlight, Safari, and Siri in iOS and OS X, it could be off the ground in no time.

Cult of Mac notes that Apple’s long-running search agreement with Google ends this year, so now is as good a time as any to launch its own competitor as a replacement. It already has the technology and the resources to make it successful, after all.