Microsoft And Yahoo! Court Apple To Supplant Google For iOS Search Engine

If the next time you open up the Safari browser on your iOS device and it appears to be blushing, don't try adjusting your display, it's normal behavior when you're being courted by multiple suitors. Such is the case with Safari, which is reportedly seeing interest from both Microsoft and Yahoo to replace Google as the default search engine when the existing agreement between Apple and Google expires next year.

Citing "well-placed sources," the Morning Ledger says Apple is in separate discussions with both companies. The implication there is that this is something Apple is seriously considering, rather than just an idea on a whiteboard. Google would be wise to take it seriously, especially after Mozilla just recently chose Yahoo to be its default search engine in Firefox going forward.

Safari iOS
Image Source: Flickr (Darren Harvey)

Other reports suggest Apple is also in discussions with DuckDuckGo, a lesser known startup search engine that's fast growing in popularity because of its emphasis on user privacy. That's probably a long shot, given that Microsoft and Yahoo have much deeper pockets, though still possible. In addition, Apple may take a page from Mozilla and use different default search engines in different parts of the world.

Don't think Apple is afraid to kick Google the curb, either. The Cupertino outfit made waves when it yanked Google Maps as a native app in iOS and replaced it with its own mapping software. Given that these two firms are rivals in the mobile space, it wouldn't be all that surprising if Apple chose a different search engine for 2015 and beyond.