Bing to Be The iPhone’s Default Search Engine?

iPhone 3GS

When it comes to technology companies, unusual pairings aren’t all that uncommon, but when it comes to deals between longtime rivals Microsoft and Apple, any sort of cooperation or deal raises eyebrows. Businessweek is reporting that Apple and Microsoft are in talks to make Bing the default search engine on the iPhone, citing two unnamed sources “familiar with the matter.” According to Businessweek, the possible pairing has to due with Apple feeling competitive pressure from Google, and wanting to sever the iPhone’s ties to Google as a search resource.

Ties between Apple and Google have historically been quite strong, although in recent years the two companies have begun competing directly in several areas. Google CEO Eric Schmidt left Apple’s board when the company announced it was going to launch its own Chrome operating system (Schmidt had already recused himself from matters involving the iPhone), and now Google has launched its own smartphone—sorry, “superphone”—which some say is the company’s first attempt at an “iPhone killer.” However, the companies still cooperate on many fronts, including bringing YouTube video and Google Maps to Apple devices (including the iPhone!), Google is the default search provider on Macintosh computers, and Google’s Chrome Web browser is built on the same open source base as Apple’s Safari—and Apple has been a major contributor to that technology.

It’s not clear how much mobile search traffic from the iPhone is worth to Google—or to Microsoft—but certainly the market for mobile advertising is expanding rapidly—as demonstrated by Google’s intention to purchase AdMob. The iPhone’s popularity also means it represents a substantial portion of mobile Web usage, both in North America as well as many international markets.

However, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has historically been one of Apple’s greatest detractors. Ballmer has never had much good to say about the iPhone, and even reportedly took an iPhone out of an employee’s hands at a recent meeting and jokingly pretended to stomp on it when the employee tried to take Ballmer’s picture with the device. When the iPhone debuted, Baller famously predicted there was “no chance” the iPhone would develop any market share. Also, many of Bing’s top-flight services are being developed using Microsoft’s Silverlight technology, which—like Flash—doesn’t run on the iPhone, although Microsoft is working on a version of Silverlight 2 for Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile devices.

Apple and Microsoft have also been engaged in an escalating PR war in recent years, with Apple’s popular “I’m a Mac” campaign featuring John Hodgman as the embodiment of a Windows PC largely controlling the conversation—in fact, Microsoft’s ongoing “I’m a PC” campaign is almost entirely a response to the effectiveness of Apple’s promotions.

Business

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Mobile

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!
Computing

Firefox will disable Flash on its browsers by default in 2019

Mozilla's Firefox browser will continue to do its part in deprecating the Flash plugin this year with new plans revealed to disable it by default in an upcoming Nightly build, followed by a stable release in September.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Computing

Protect your expensive new laptop with the best Macbook cases

If you recently picked up a new MacBook, you’ll want something to protect its gorgeous exterior. Here, we've gathered the best MacBook cases and covers, whether you're looking for style or protection.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Computing

Stop dragging windows on your Mac. Here's how to use Split View to multitask

The latest iterations of MacOS offer a native Split View feature that can automatically divide screen space between two applications. Here's how to use Split View on a Mac, adjust it as needed, and how it can help out.
Deals

Need a new tablet? The best iPad deals for January 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.