Bing may replace Google on iPhone 4G

iPhone apps

Microsoft's Bing search enginemay replaceGoogle as the default search engine on the Apple iPhone, according to sources widely quoted by media reports.

Google has been the default search provider on every generation of iPhone since the iconic handset first appeared in 2007. But with Google and Apple increasingly at odds over competing technologies, speculation has been mounting that Apple is looking at alternative browsers for the iPhone 4G, which is widely expected to be unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco next week.

Reports over the weekend claimed Bing is being lined up as the default search option not only on the fourth-generation iPhone but the iPad too.

That Apple's relationship with Google has been deteriorating for some time is nothing new. From its search engine origins, Google's increasing focus on the lucrative mobile market has led to accusations from Apple of deliberately targeting its operations.

In fact, this isn't the first time Apple and erstwhile nemesis Microsoft have been reported as looking for common ground in the search arena.

At present, Google is understood to be paying Apple as much as $100million for default search status on the iPhone, along with the ability to serve search ads.

Microsoft has invested heavily trying to increase Bing's market share and break Google's search stranglehold. Gaining a serious foothold in the mobile market outside of its own Windows Phone 7 handsets will certainly be a significant coup for the Redmond company.

Apple declined to comment on the rumours.