Back in January, we reported about whispers floating around BusinessWeek that Apple may soon find itself teamed up with long-time rival Microsoft to replace some core Google functionality on the iPhone.  A new report published yesterday on the New York Times details the growing resentment between the two tech giants that all began with the development of Android.

The budding relationship between Google and Apple seemed to hit fever pitch with the announcement of the iPhone back in 2007.  Google would later provide many of the core services to the mobile handset from Maps to YouTube and the search bar within Safari.  Google CEO Eric Schmidt also served on Apple's board of directors for nearly three years before stepping down in August of last year.  That event stemmed from conflicts of interest as the two companies began competing in a number of areas from web browsers to mobile phones to desktop OS's.

According to NYTimes sources, tension grew between the two as Google furthered the development of Android and began to execute their vision of an open mobile ecosystem.  Steve Jobs was none too happy and actually threatened to sue Google had they implemented patented technology – like its flick to scroll implementation – Apple had been granted.

Last fall, after Apple had rejected Google Voice from its App Store, Apple began to pursue mobile advertiser AdMob in an attempt for a $600 millionapplevsgoogle acquisition.  After Apple's 45-day "no shop" provision with AdMob had expired, Google moved in days later and closed a $750 million acquisition of AdMob prompting Apple to look to mobile advertiser Quattro Wireless, a deal that would later be closed for estimated $275 million.

The most recent tension comes as Apple filed suit against the most popular Android handset maker, HTC for patent infringement in its implementation of 20 technologies to which Apple owns the rights.  Google has already publicly announced they stand behind HTC and their Android OS.

"And it would present an unlikely sight: Steve Jobs and Apple, running from the arms of Eric Schmidt and Google, into the embrace of Steve Ballmer and Microsoft."

What do you think of the growing tension between the two behemoths?  Do you think Apple will replace Google services with Bing's?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

[Via NYTimes]