Nerval's Lobster writes: Apple and Yahoo are reportedly in discussions over some sort of partnership, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, which drew its information from unnamed sources “briefed on the matter.” While the parties are quite some distance away from signing any sort of agreement, the report indicated that discussions have centered on “how more of Yahoo’s services can play a prominent role on Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices.” Apple’s iOS—the operating system backing the iPhone and iPad—already relies on Yahoo data for a number of services, including its Siri voice-activated digital assistant. In theory, a deeper partnership would lead to Yahoo’s services and data baked into more parts of iOS—including, potentially, search. If an agreement takes place, and Yahoo becomes the default search engine for iOS devices, it would lead to a peculiar Silicon Valley hairball: Microsoft’s backend infrastructure currently powers Yahoo search, meaning that Microsoft would be effectively lending its considerable muscle to a rival in the mobile space. In that case, you can bet that Microsoft’s lawyers would pick over the Yahoo partnership agreement for any loopholes or leverage.
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