Baidu integration in iOS still in the works?

If it comes to pass, the search feature would sit alongside Google search for China-based customers looking to search the Web with the operating system's integrated function.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

When China-based users search the Web, they currently don't have the option to automatically choose Baidu. But that may eventually change, according to a report out of the country.

China's Sina Tech Web site has reported, citing sources, that Apple will be integrating Baidu search into its iOS platform. The publication didn't say exactly when the integration will be coming, but if it eventually happens, it could be a blow to Google, which is currently the default search engine on Chinese iPhones. [Editors' note: After posting this story, we discovered that the reports from today are linking to an older Sina Tech story from March -- see the next paragraph for what we reported at that time. We're digging deeper and will update this story with further information.]

Back in March, Sina Tech claimed Apple would be delivering Baidu integration in April, but that never happened. This time around, however, at least one publication claims to have seen a "test shot" of the integration.

For Google, Baidu integration in iOS couldn't be worse news. The tech giant is currently trailing far behind Baidu in the Chinese search market, tallying just 16.6 percent market share, compared to its competitor's 78.5 percent share in the first quarter. Granted, iOS users would still be able to switch to Google for search when Baidu comes to the platform, but given those numbers, it's unlikely many folks will make the jump.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on the Sina Tech report. We will update this story when we have more information.

(Via The Next Web)