Apple is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to turn Bing into the default search engine on the iPhone, as the company’s rivalry with Google deepens.
Google is currently the default search engine on the iPhone. A deal between Apple and Microsoft may mean iPhone owners would automatically get Microsoft’s Bing as the main search engine, possibly requiring users to actively change phone settings if they want to search via Google. BusinessWeek magazine reports that the talks between Apple and Microsoft have been underway for weeks, citing ‘two people familiar with the matter’.
The move marks a further rivalry between former partners Apple and Google- Google CEO Chief Executive Eric Schmidt once had a seat on Apple’s board. Since then, Google has launched its iPhone rival Nexus One and developed its Andriod mobile operating system that rivals the iPhone OS.
BusinessWeek quoted one of its sources saying: “Apple and Google know the other is their primary enemy…Microsoft is now a pawn in that battle.”
The move would mean Google could miss out on a large portion of mobile ad revenue. Most mobile advertising now is viewed on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, according to mobile advertising company AdMob.
The discussions could still unravel and may not be concluded quickly. Microsoft and Apple have declined to comment on the story.