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Are Apple planning to ditch Google?

Apple and Google could be going their separate ways, and sooner rather than later as their search deal looks set to end next year.

Apple

Just last week we told you that Firefox had turned its back on Google as its default search engine, and it seems Apple may be looking to do the same.

Google reportedly paid Apple $82 million (£52 million) in 2009, and $1 billion (£636 million) last year for the tie-up. But the two rivals could be going their separate ways in 2015 as the computer giant looks to be planning an agreement with a new search partner.

And if the two do split, Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Bing are the leading contenders to take their place with each company believed to have pitched to Apple SVP Eddy Cue on the idea of replacing Google as the iOS search provider.

Yahoo! recently replaced Google as Mozilla’s Firefox’s default search engine, while Bing are now the number one choice of Apple’s own Siri personal assistant service.

The relationship between the two giants has been strained since Apple ditched Google Maps as the default mapping service for iOS devices.

And the tension was increased further when Google-owned YouTube was no longer a pre-installed app on iPhones and iPads.

Bad feeling between the two can be traced back to the unveiling of Android, which Apple’s late CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs viewed as being “stolen” due to similarities with their iOS.