Report: Apple wants Bing to replace Google on the iPhone

Microsoft's new Bing search engine isn't doing too badly in terms of market share, perhaps thanks to Steven Ballmer's masterful attempts to make the trademark catchy. Believe it or not, Bing might soon get some help growing from a little company called Apple.

Quoting "two people familiar with the matter," BusinessWeek reports that Apple and Microsoft have been in talks for "weeks" to change the iPhone's default search engine from Google to Bing. One of the sources told the weekly, "Apple and Google know the other is their primary enemy . . . Microsoft is now a pawn in that battle."

As you might recall, Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepped down from Apple's board of directors last August due to "potential conflicts of interest." Five months later, we saw the launch of the Nexus One, a Google-branded smart phone that's every bit an iPhone rival. Google is also pushing its Android mobile operating system, of course, which is gaining a strengthening foothold in the market thanks to devices like the Motorola Droid.

Web search may not be the only iPhone feature Apple strips of its Google-ness, either. News broke last October that Apple had quietly purchased a mapping software firm, a hint that the Google Maps iPhone app could be on its way out—from the default software bundle, at least.

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