Safari’s default search engine could be Bing or Yahoo by next year

Apple’s default search engine is Google. That means anytime you fire up Safari on your laptop, tablet, or phone, you’ll be searching with Google. But that may not be the case for too much longer.

The Information reports that Google’s deal with Apple expires next year. Once it does, Apple will be free to rethink its search strategy. Though most users already know what they like in terms of browsers and search engines, convenience counts for a lot and being the default option is a powerful position to be in.

This fact is not lost on Google’s competitors, who are apparently already pitching Apple on their own solutions in an attempt to gain access to millions of Apple users.

Die-hard Google users might think it’s a no-brainer: Google is the best search engine around and Apple should renegotiate its agreement with Google when the time comes. However, that’s not as likely as you might think.

Google is one of Apple’s biggest competitors in mobile and applications, and Apple has been slowly moving away from Google services for years. With iOS 6, the company ditched Google Maps for its own proprietary solution. Then, last year, Bing was made the default search engine for Siri. That decision could pave the way for a similar setup with Safari. However, as The Information points out, Yahoo just snagged Mozilla, so while Bing seems more likely, Yahoo isn’t outside the realm of possibility either.

Of course, the main thing to remember here is that the default isn’t the be all and end all. You can still change your default search engine should Apple sign a deal with a company you’re not happy with. You can even search Siri with Google if you specify in your instructions that she should use Google.

[source]The Information[/source]