According to SinaTech, Apple plans to integrate the search function from Chinese web services giant Baidu into iOS. The news site, quoting "knowledgeable sources," suggests that Apple will release the new feature sometime next month.
The sources say that, so far, an agreement has been signed and everything is going according to plan.
Confirming these rumours, cloud and mobile chief Li Mingyuan pointed out last week at the launch of WangPan, Baidu's cloud storage services, that the Chinese company and Apple have a healthy cooperation agreement.
As the largest search engine facility in the world, Google is well behind Baidu, with its Chinese counterpart accounting for 83.6 per cent of the searches.
The new move planned by the tacticians at Apple's Cupertino headquarters might further lessen Google's position in China. In a month or so, the growing number of iOS users in China will have the option of setting the default search engine to Baidu instead of Google.
Analysts have been predicting the divorce between the two American tech giants, Apple and Google, for a while now. Siri is relying more on alternative search engines to provide answers for its users, with iPhoto for iOS proving another hint that Apple is moving away from Google Maps.