Will Apple Dump Google in Favor of the Next Big Thing?

The days of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products being hooked onto Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) out-of-the-box may be numbered, if reports in China are to be believed.

A report on Chinese website Sina Tech says an impending iOS update will integrate the country’s biggest search engine, Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), into the Apple operating system. Sources in the Chinese news report say the update could come in April.

Baidu already beats Google in usage percentages fair and square, with an 83.6 percent hold in China’s search space. Apple’s growing numbers in China have been helping Google increase its own footprint, too, but this will be a big spanner.

Apple has been trying to fight off competition in the country from the recently launched Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone and is working hard to stand out. Recently, the social network-based news aggregation app Flipboard, which currently only works on Apple devices, announced better integration of content from China and that in Mandarin.

Apple has already started to move away from some Google integration all over the world and has tried to include the Microsoft search engine Bing in its system. The new iPhoto for iOS also does not use Google Maps.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aabha Rathee at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com