How much are iOS users worth to Google? $1 billion (about £641m, AU$976m), apparently, with one analyst firm predicting that's what it will cost the search giant to remain the default search engine on iOS.

We can just imagine Tim Cook rubbing his hands together gleefully and demanding "…One billion dollars!", half-expecting an eruption of laughter from the Google camp, like when Dr Evil tries the same thing.

But no, Google will likely bite just as it has done for the past few years despite the price steadily increasing according to Morgan Stanley's calculations.

Search wars

In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, Google only gets 25 cents for every dollar it makes from search advertising on iOS while Apple takes the other 75 cents.

So what's in it for Google? Keeping a hand in with iOS users, to start with, as well as all the lovely data it gets every time you look something up on the go.

And if Google pulls out, Microsoft's Bing is quite ready to step into the breach just as it has done on BlackBerry handsets (and, obviously, all Windows Phone devices). Google will be loathed to lose all those users to its Microsoft counterpart.

Despite the chunk of change Google's $1 billion represents, Apple could choose to do away with Google as the rivalry between the two firms and their mobile ecosystems deepens. However, we all saw what happened when it tried to ditch Google Maps...

From TechCrunch