In an effort to boost Bing’s market share and make the growing rift between Apple and Google more prominent, the Redmond-based tech juggernaut is in talks with Apple to replace Google with Bing as the default search engine on the iPhone, according to people familiar with the matter. If successful, it could mean that the iPhone, as well as Apple’s desktop version of Safari would make the switch to Bing. The Business Week reported that the discussions have been under way for weeks and no official announcements have been made to the public.
“Apple and Google know the other is their primary enemy,” says one of the people, who’s familiar with Apple’s thinking. “Microsoft is now a pawn in that battle.” Apple is also working on ways to manage ad placement on its mobile devices, a move that would encroach on Google’s ad-serving business, the person says.
“This rivalry is going to accelerate innovation,’ says Andreas Bechtolsheim, a co-founder of Sun Microsystems and an early investor in Google. “Apple goes pretty fast, but having someone chasing you always makes you go faster. This is going to be good for consumers.”
To search on Bing, users would have to download an iPhone app from the App Store or point their mobile browser to m.bing.com. This possible partnership between Apple and Microsoft might cost Google dearly as the search engine leader could no longer take advantage of millions of iPhone users, causing a significant loss of mobile advertising and the inability to improve its Android technology.