Report: Apple to add Baidu to iOS search options next month

Reports are surfacing in China that claim Apple plans to integrate Baidu into iOS next month as the country’s possible default search function.

According to Chinese news website Sina Tech (machine-translation):

Sina Technology News on March 26 morning news, according to informed sources, Apple iOS operating system next month will be formally introduced Baidu search, Baidu and Apple between cooperation component in the China region.

Google’s Susan Creighton revealed last fall that two-thirds of the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s mobile search comes from Apple iOS devices.

Meanwhile, recent speculation claims Apple is moving to an in-house Mapping solution that would replace Google Maps. The firm also recently removed its publish to YouTube option in QuickTime for Mountain lion. If these latest rumors deem true, Apple’s move to Baidu would further indicate a significant effort to reduce Google’s presence in iOS.

With that said, the move to Baidu might be more than a snub to Google. As SearchEngineLand noted, Baidu holds 80 percent of the search market in China, and it would make sense for the Chinese to carry the same search on their mobile devices as they have on their desktop.

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Apple hooks up exploding Mac userbase in China with local services in OS X Mountain Lion

Mountain Lion will cater to Chinese users more than any other OS X version. CEO Tim Cook once more underscored the importance of China by highlighting Mac sales in today’s interview with the Wall Street Journal. Sales doubled in the 1.33 billion-people market during 2011 to the tune of $13 billion in revenue.

“They know about Apple and what Apple stands for. Then they search out and look for the Mac”, he told the paper. Apple’s promotional material said Mountain Lion makes it easy to “set up Mail, Contacts, Calendar, video sharing, web searching, and blogging on your Mac using many popular services in China.”

For starters, Chinese input method in Mountain Lion has “significant enhancements.” Secondly, Apple worked hard to make sure customers in China get a localized experience by providing the ability to select Baidu search in Safari. Baidu is the dominant search engine in China, ranked No. 6 in Alexa’s global rankings and No. 1 in China with an estimated 56.6-percent share of the country’s 4.02 billion search queries as of June 2011…

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