updated 07:32 am EDT, Fri May 25, 2012
Apple tipped to include Baidu search in iOS for China
A report from China's Sina Tech has tipped that Apple will integrate Baidu as a search engine in iOS for the Chinese iPhone. Baidu is the leading search engine in China with a massive 83.6 percent share of the market. The pairing is seen as mutually beneficial with Baidu gaining exposure on the smartphone platform with the most active on China's mobile web, while its inclusion will be an additional selling point for the iPhone in China.
Any advantage that Apple can gain is seen as critical to its ongoing growth in China's mobile market. Apple raked in $7.9 billion in profit alone from the Chinese market in Q1 this year, although Android dominates overall market share with 68 percent of new handsets activated featuring the little green robot. Apple's China-focus has already seen it bake in support for Baidu, QQ, Sina Weibo, Youku and Tudou into its next-generation desktop OS, Mountain Lion, due next month.
Neither company has confirmed the tie-in, although a Baidu product manager told a group of reporters at a company event that Baidu and Apple had signed an agreement on the integration of Baidu search into iOS. For Apple, the move marks yet another step away from reliance on Google and its products. Its recently launched iPhoto for iOS drops Google Maps in favor of OpenStreetMap. [via The Next Web]