updated 11:41 am EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
Deal could be revealed next week at WWDC 2012
Apple is indeed planning to add Baidu as a search option for Chinese iOS users, according to two Bloomberg sources. The people say that a deal could be announced as soon as next week, when Apple is also hosting WWDC 2012 in San Francisco. A keynote presentation is scheduled for June 11th.
Baidu reportedly handles about 80 percent of China's search requests, which may make it an important addition if Apple wants to gain a secure foothold in China. Currently iOS defaults to Google search in all regions, forcing Chinese users to turn to a dedicated app. One Bloomberg source says that Google will probably remain the default option, with Baidu simply being a selectable alternative.