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Yahoo and Apple in talks over deeper iOS integration, report says

Yahoo headquarters management santa claraApple and Yahoo are reportedly in talks focused on bringing more of the Web company’s news and sports content to Apple’s mobile devices, possibly with a view to integrating it further with Siri, the iPhone and iPad’s voice-activated virtual assistant. The Wall Street Journal broke the news on Tuesday, citing “people briefed on the matter” as its source.

It’s certainly an interesting proposition. Yahoo already provides data for Apple’s mobile devices, including information relating to weather, sport and stocks, but any deal – which the Journal points out has not yet been inked – could lead to an increase in such content, pulled from various Yahoo sites.

While Yahoo is already used to provide some content for Siri, it’s also suggested that further integration could be on the cards – Apple certainly appears intent on bolstering its voice-activated software in the coming months with its jobs site recently posting information on a number of Siri-related positions.

The cozying up of the two Silicon Valley giants makes a certain amount of sense when you consider that Marissa Mayer has made mobile a priority for the Web company since taking the reins in July last year, and that it could help Apple distance itself further from rival Google. The Cupertino company recently removed Google’s Maps and YouTube apps from its mobile operating system, though continues to use Google as Safari’s default search engine.

However, as the Journal’s report points out, there may be a limit to how far Yahoo can go with Apple, as it’s currently in a deal with Microsoft – which has its own mobile platform to push – that allows it to use Bing to power its search engine. That deal has another six years to run.  More importantly, the Journal’s source said that senior Apple executive Eddy Cue still considers Google to be the most suitable search engine for iOS and “isn’t prepared to sacrifice the quality of search results.”

With Apple and Yahoo reportedly yet to sign any deal, time is running out to include the benefits of any tie-up in Apple’s next mobile operating system, iOS 7, which could be unveiled at the Cupertino company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in June.

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