Feb 162010

We had heard rumors that Apple might replace Google search with Bing or might be building its own search engine, but Sillicon Valley Insider had reported that it was unlikely as Apple is getting over $100 million a year from Google for the iPhone Search deal.

However, that doesn’t seem to have stopped the speculations. MacRumors is reporting that both Google and Microsoft are competing for the iPhone search deal.

They’re quoting two reports by Reuters. Reuters has reported yesterday that Vic Gundotra, who leads Google’s mobile engineering told journalists:

“Apple is a very close and valuable partner and we’re very excited about the relationship we have with them today. We have no reason to believe that’s going to change.

We don’t want to comment on those rumours. We think that relationship is stable.”

Reuters had also described Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s reaction when he was asked about the prospects of a deal to replace Google Search with Bing on the iPhone in another report:

When asked about the reports, Ballmer said “I wouldn’t comment either way,” but smiled, and repeated the phrase when the reporter remarked that Ballmer looked happy.

If Microsoft is serious about getting the iPhone search deal then it might want to make its Bing iPhone app more widely available as it seems to be available only on US App Store, which doesn’t make any sense.

With Google commanding 65.4% of the market share in search, it would clearly be against users preference to change Google Search with Bing on the iPhone.

Do you think Apple should even consider replacing Google with Bing on the iPhone? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

[via MacRumors]

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