Our pals at The iPhone Blog point us to a piece that could pit Google and Apple against each other in the search market, with Microsoft a key player. The gist is that Apple reportedly is considering dropping Google as its default search engine and would switch to Bing, for which there already is an iPhone app. That would move a lot of iPhone eyeballs away from Google and onto Microsoft. From the BusinessWeek piece:
"Apple and Google know the other is their primary enemy," says one of the people, who's familiar with Apple's thinking. "Microsoft is now a pawn in that battle." Apple is also working on ways to manage ad placement on its mobile devices, a move that would encroach on Google's ad-serving business, the person says.
Rene at TiPB sums things up nicely: This could be a big shift. Or it could fall apart and be nothing at all. Or it could be Apple stalling for time while it ramps up its own mobile search strategy, which likely was set back when Google bought AdMob and Apple was left with Quattro Wireless.
Either way, it means there's a mobile search battle brewing, and Android and the iPhone are on the front lines.