Apple could be reaping as much as $100 million each year from search engine giant Google to keep the ever-popular iPhone smartphone on Google's side and away from Microsoft's Bing.
In a game of "my enemy's enemies are my friends", Apple is, according to Silicon Insider Alley, cuddling up with Google instead of choosing a rather more lucrative and possibly easier way.
SIA highlights the fact that $100 million for Apple is almost pocket money - the company now turns revenues of $50 billion every year - but it is enough to keep Apple interested.
Two aspects that the SIA source didn't mention were whether (a) Apple intends to launch its own search engine one day and (b) whether the $100 million is an annual fixed sum or whether this increases with an increasing number of iPhones sold.
At $2 per iPhone (and iPod Touch), Google has done quite a deal with Apple on this one and knows that search, not mobile phones, is its core business. Ironically, Google and Apple have had a chequered relationship in the past few years.
Google CEO, Eric Schmidt has had to leave Apple's board in August 2009 and Steve Jobs has reportedly lambasted Google for attempting to kill (or at least seriously challenge) the iPhone with the new Nexus One.
As for what we think, well back in November 2008, we got five reasons why Apple should buy Yahoo.... ultimately.
We've said before that 2010 could well see Google and Apple lock horns over a number of sectors including mobile, browser and online advertising. That said, we would find it supremely surprising should Apple accept Google's dollars for including search on the iPhone.