MacPredictions anticipated a rumor recession, but never anything quite this severe! Now we're being subjected to non-rumors: yesterday's hot news first reported by Tech Crunch, is that Apple isn't building a search engine. This is probably just as well, since Apple would probably be just as bad at search engines as Google has proved to be with smart phones.
But, on the basis that where there's smoke, there's fire, we can infer from the reports that there is something up with Apple and search. Albeit that interpreting the rumorsphere is sometimes a little like talking to lassie.
Of Apple's various bits of kit, the one most desperately in need of a search engine is undoubtedly iPhone. Whilst the recent 2.0 update introduced search to Contacts, it bizarrely didn't introduce it to the iPod app, despite the fact that regular iPods (at a fraction of iPhone's price) have offered this feature for years.
What's really required is a system-wide search tool - probably called Spotlight, with a nice blue magnifier icon, which searches metadata across all installed apps, including Mail, SMS, iPod and Contacts. An especially handy feature for the well-connected, who may search for Bono, in order to get both his phone number and back catalog in a single, unified search result.
It's hardly rocket science - this is a feature that the humble Palm Pilot (remember them?) was able to offer from day one. Let's hope it's on the iPhone team's to-do list... oh no, they don't have one of those yet either...