Bloomberg is reporting this morning that Apple could announce Baidu integration into iOS as early as next week at the company's World Wide Developers Conference.

Baidu, a Chinese search engine, is currently not integrated into iOS, even on Chinese destined iPhones. Google’s search engine is currently the default option but, Baidu still maintains its popularity over Google in the country.

Bloomberg’s report cites unnamed sources, and they couldn’t specify when the announcement would happen, but WWDC seems as good a time as any especially if Apple plans on announcing its own native mapping alternative to Google Maps.

It only makes sense that the rumors of Apple integrating Baidu natively into iOS would finally come to fruition. That popularity advantage mentioned earlier is actually about a five time statistical advantage for Baidu over Google. According to Bloomberg during the second quarter of this year Baidu held 78.5% of the Chinese search market share with Google holding a meager 16.6%.

Google is still top dog here in the states, and their Android phones outnumber Apple’s offering nearly 10 to 1 in China, which is why the paltry search numbers are surprising. But, the offerings are likely lower-end models with limited functionality and could potentially be affecting Google’s search numbers as most phone owners don’t rely on their phones as search tools.

Source: Bloomberg