Awww: Apple’s NEW Sleeping Giant Sweetheart

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be close to reaching a deal with Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) that would add the Chinese search engine to iPhones sold in that country. According to Bloomberg, the agreement between the two could be announced next week at Apple’s annual developers’ conference in San Francisco.

Don’t Miss: This Apple Friend/Foe Won’t Go Down Without a FIGHT.

Currently, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is the default search engine for the mobile Safari browser, and though Apple is not likely to change that, Baidu’s availability on the iPhone will be a big step in attracting consumers to the smartphone. In turn, the deal will boost Baidu’s wireless advertising business. Baidu reportedly accounts for almost 80 percent of searches in China, with Google only holding a 16.6 percent share.

Baidu as well as Sina Weibo (NASDAQ:SINA), which is often called China’s Twitter, have already been announced as the built-in search and sharing options for the Chinese market when the desktop software OS X Mountain Lion launches there this summer.

Apple tripled its revenue in China last quarter, making the country its biggest market outside the U.S.

Don’t Miss: INTRODUCING The iPhone 5.