Despite a longtime rivalry in nearly every segment they operate in, Apple may soon find themselves joining forces with Microsoft to take on a behemoth of a competitor.  Once simply a search engine, Google now competes in more markets you can count.  They’re still the leader in search and they’re branching out into computer operating systems, mobile operating systems, and their recently unveiled online hardware store.

bingiphoneReports from Businessweek say that Apple and Microsoft are currently in talks to replace Google as their default search engine on the iPhone and apparently the discussion has been under way for quite some time.  While there was no word as to whether Bing Maps would replace Google Maps, we do know Apple acquired Google Maps competitor PlaceBase back in July that could eventually result in Google getting the boot.  Beyond the iPhone, the report says Bing could replace Google as the default search for desktop Safari as well. Businessweek says the deal would only be buying Apple time as they’re currently looking to offer a search offering of their own.

Not too long ago, Google CEO Eric Schmidt had a seat on Apple’s board and had to step down as the two began to overlap in competition. This separation from the board seemed to signal the turning point where the two have now become each other’s biggest competition.  It’s Android versus iPhone and as Android spreads like wildfire in 2010, there will come a time when Google cuts into Apple’s marketshare.

One thing’s for sure; Google’s getting mighty powerful these days.  It wouldn’t be unrealistic to see both Apple and Microsoft step up before Google activates Skynet.  Do you think Bing will find a home with the iPhone?  Are the two companies ready to put aside their differences? Speculate in the comments.

[Businessweek via 9to5Mac]