With the recent release of Google’s smartphone, the Nexus One, their relationship with Apple seems to be changing. The competition that the Nexus One provides to the iPhone is causing some friction between the two companies.As a result, Apple might sever ties with Google and find a new provider for search on the iPhone.
Google is sticking far too many fingers into the mobile pie to leave any mobile provider comfortable. They’ve stomped over other mobile search engines, mobile operators, mobile application platforms, even mobile operating systems and are developing their own Operating System which will compete with the Apple Mac OS.
These facts do not seem to have gone down well with Apple, and undisclosed sources revealed to BusinessWeek that for the past few weeks, Apple has been in talks with their one-time arch rival, Microsoft, which is also a rival of Google.
The talks have been centered around the possibility of making Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, the default search provider on the iPhone.
If the deal between Apple and Microsoft is finalised, users will have to actively change the settings on their iPhone, if they then wish to use Google as their search engine.
At present, Google’s position as the default search engine earns them a considerable amount of money from mobile search advertising on the iPhone. This revenue is then shared with Apple. Needless to say, Google would lose out on this revenue if it is replaced by Bing.
If Bing does become the default search engine on the iPhone, Microsoft will not only get a higher market share in mobile search but will also earn significant revenues from mobile search advertising on iPhones.
Realistically, though, even if Apple and Microsoft could put aside years of rivalry, which is still going strong (look at the I’m not a PC, I’m a Mac ads!) and strike the deal, one wonders how long it will last, especially since Microsoft is also believed to be working towards making its own smartphone.
Add to that, speculation that Apple might try to develop its own search engine definitely precludes any relationship with Microsoft, as the last thing Ballmer and company need is more competition in search from yet another major rival.