Though there was no mention of which during Apple’s iPhone OS 4 announcement, Search Engine Land is reporting that the new iteration drops the Google Search button in Safari, opting instead for a generic search button.
Though, at the moment, the generic search button is still tied to Google search, it’s an indication that Apple has other plans for integrated search on its mobile devices. Search Engine Land speculates that this could mean that Apple is looking to break away from Google in the update’s final release, which could have huge ramifications for SEO.
By using Google as their default mobile search engine, Apple has allowed Google access to iPhone users’ search statistics and preferences, which could potentially be used to further the development of Android. This is a huge problem through the eyes of Apple, who is constantly looking for ways to one-up Google in the mobile space.
Dropping Google could potentially hurt Apple more than helping, however, because using Bing or Yahoo means a direct tie with Microsoft, who Apple dislikes just as much as Google at the moment. Building out their very own search engine would be a long, costly and tedious process for Apple, but it looks like the groundwork has already begun.