Microsoft's Bing could be given more of a chance to rival the use of Google on the iPhone, according to reports citing sources close to the deal.
Some reports suggest that Bing will replace Google in the next version of the iPhone operating system due in June. Other reports say the Bing service will just be offered as a more prominent alternative to Google search.
Google search is set as the device's default search engine, and users have to go into the iPhone's settings to change to Bing, a procedure that tends to put users off making the switch.
If Apple does partner with Microsoft, the announcement could take place at the firm's upcoming developers' conference on 7 June.
Reports of the partnership against Google have been circulating since the beginning of the year, and speculation has grown as Apple and Google increasingly compete in the mobile hardware and software markets.
Google chief executive Eric Schmidt had to resign from the Apple board last year because of the increasing areas of overlap between the companies.
The search firm rivals the iPhone with the Nexus One smartphone and competes with the Apple operating system with its Android offering.
Google publically declared support for HTC when Apple waged a lawsuit against the Taiwan-based manufacturer, claiming it had infringed iPhone patents.
Apple has already demonstrated its competitive streak by banning Google Voice from the iTunes App store.
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