Apple is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to replace Google as the iPhone's default search engine, in a move reflecting the growing rivalry between Google and the others.
The talks have been underway for weeks, but it could be some time before a deal is reached – and talks could still fall apart – inside sources told Bloomberg.
One source added that Microsoft may be willing to offer Apple a larger percentage of search revenue than Google currently does.
Google currently has an 86% share of the mobile search market, compared to Bing's 11%, according to Nielsen.
Apple and Google are increasingly becoming arch-rivals. Google's growing success with the Android OS has put pressure on the
iPhone, and with the recent launch
of the Nexus One smartphone, Google has become a direct competitor.
Apple, for its part, recently acquired
mobile advertising firm Quattro Wireless for $275 million (€191 million), confirming the company's plans to enter the mobile advertising market in competition with Google.
The company had reportedly also attempted to acquire AdMob, but was outbid by Google, which paid
$750 million for the startup.
Bing, which launched last year
, is Microsoft's latest assault on the search market. Microsoft has since been aggressively pursuing exclusive search deals and has signed a partnership
with former rival Yahoo.