INTERNET OCTOPUS Google delivered a belated Valentine's card to Apple today at the Mobile World Congress.
Calling the cappuccino firm a "close and valuable partner", it aimed to quell the growing speculation that due to recent moves by Google, Apple will switch the default search provider on Iphones to Microsoft's Bing.
The two companies were seen to be as thick as thieves until Google started pushing its Android operating system harder than ever with its launch of the Nexus One smartphone early this year. With recent software updates on the Nexus One bringing it previously Iphone-only features such as pinch-to-zoom, it seemed inevitable the Apple would sever ties with the search giant.
While Microsoft's Bing has been garnering some plaudits recently and with some impressive additions in the works, Apple's CEO Steve Jobs will be thinking twice before jumping ship just to spite Google. The content sharing deal between Google and Apple reportedly earns Jobs' Mob over $100 million per year, so a switch would more than likely be based on financial rather than emotional reasons.
Back in Barcelona, Vic Gundotra, lead mobile engineer at Google, suggested that phone maker HTC pitches handsets to Google for its branding rather than the search monster asking HTC to make phones per its specifications. Gundotra said that Google had not decided on how many Google phones there would be but said that it had picked out the "flagship" devices from HTC.
It seems clear that the Nexus One won't be the only Google branded mobile device so while Gundotra might say that the relationship with Apple is stable, the company's roadmap suggests that some major bumps in the relationship may still lie ahead. µ