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Munster: Apple developing a search engine

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The great prognosticator Gene Munster (who spends his days working as an analyst at Piper Jaffray) has another guess at Apple's future for us: a search engine. He says there's a 70% chance that Apple will create its own search engine within the next five years -- right after that HDTV that he predicted a little while back.

Obviously, putting together a search engine is a big undertaking, and once again, it seems unlikely that Apple would want to put one little toe into such a crowded pool. However, Munster's got that covered; he says that, instead of building from scratch, Apple might use some of its huge pool of cash to buy an existing database like Cuil.

While that seems unlikely as well, it does make a little bit of sense. If Apple and Google really are on the rocks (sit-down between Jobs and Schmidt notwithstanding), Apple is probably looking at strategies to extricate itself from Google's search grip.

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