Reports are surfacing in China, claiming that Apple has plans to integrate Baidu into iOS next month as the country’s possible default search function.
According to Chinese news website Sina Tech (machine-translation):
Sina Technology News on March 26 morning news, according to informed sources, Apple iOS operating system next month will be formally introduced Baidu search, Baidu and Apple between cooperation component in the China region.
Google’s Susan Creighton revealed last fall that two-thirds of the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s mobile search comes from Apple iOS devices.
Meanwhile, recent speculations claim that Apple is moving to an in-house Mapping solution that would replace Google Maps. Apple also recently removed its publish to YouTube option in QuickTime for Mountain lion. If these rumors turn out to be true, Apple’s move to Baidu would significantly reduce Google’s presence in iOS.
The move to Baidu might be more than a snub to Google. As SearchEngineLand noted, Baidu holds 80 percent of the search market in China. Thus, it would make sense for the Chinese to carry the same search on their mobile devices as they have on their desktop.
Last time, Baidu was in news for being accused of redirecting Google search to their search. People searching on Google would be redirected to Baidu with Google’s search results appearing as Baidu search results in the same sequence. Search results considered politically embarrassing for the evil Communist government were censored by Baidu.
It should be noted Apple’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Cook is now in China to meet “Chinese officials.” He might be in talks with Baidu about moving the search option to iOS. His presence may also mean that the two companies have come to an agreement?
Flurry Analytics recently noted that China surpassed the United States in Android and iOS activations for the first time. This makes China, the biggest smartphone market on the planet.
Source: 9TO5 Mac