Apple's rumored plans to add Baidu's search engine as part of its lineup of preconfigured services installed within iPhones for sale in China has resurfaced.
According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, Cupertino plans to include the Chinese search giant's services into its smartphones and the partnership could be announced as early as next week, two unnamed sources said. The unveiling of the service could coincide with the U.S. company's annual developers' conference in San Francisco scheduled for the week of Jun. 11.
However, Google's search product is likely to remain the default choice and users will have to select Baidu should they want to search using the latter's search engine, one of the sources added. Consumers can now access Baidu's services via a native app on Apple's App Store.
Both companies refused to comment on the report, the news wire said.
News of the partnership was reported earlier in March, with Baidu's search engine to be added as one of the options on Apple's Safari browser. The current options include Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's Bing.
The Chinese Web company is working to add users who access the Internet via smartphones such as the iPhone, as it looks to diversify from its stronghold on PC-based online searches, it noted. It accounted for 78.5 percent of China's search engine market by revenue in the first quarter, compared with Google's 16.6 percent, according to research firm Analysys International.