It seems that Apple is considering moving the default search for its iPhone users from Google to Bing, which is a bit of a surprise.
According to a report in BusinessWeek, Apple is already in talks with Microsoft to replace the default Google search option in its iPhone OS with one that searches through Microsoft’s search engine instead. It’s an interesting prospect, if only because it’s a fairly major shift quite late in the device’s life, but it also says an awful lot about the direction that Apple sees its business going.
If Apple does eventually remove the Google search as the default on the iPhone, then it will be offering a Google-less experience, something that would appear to be the polar opposite of what Android devices are offering. Given the fact that Android-based devices are fast becoming a serious competitor to Apple’s smartphone domination, it seems as though a move to support Microsoft’s search on the devices could be timely.
Moreover, it’s interesting to see that, if this is a direct response to the surge in popularity of Android devices, Apple seems not to be really acknowledging the threat of Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Mobile 7, or, if there’s any truth to the rumours, Windows Phone Seven.
It’s interesting if only because Microsoft looks as though it could be lining up to make a bit of a splash with its upcoming release, potentially tying the Windows Mobile line to its Zune services as well as its vastly popular Xbox Live, which has seen some fairly phenomenal uptake. If Microsoft can carry over the success of its latest desktop OS, Windows 7, and any proportion of its Xbox Live subscribers, then it’ll be very well placed with its mobile offering indeed.
One wonders if that would push Apple back to Google?