Rumours are still circulating that Apple is developing a search engine to perhaps rival Google, in a bid to ring fence all the money-making potential of its Safari browsers.

TechCrunch.com has looked into the possibility of such an occurrence, possibly due to the fact Apple will be less than happy to see Google intending to eat some of its market share with the Android range, and thinks there may be a ring of truth in the tales.

Although there hasn't been a hardcore drive within the industry to nab the best engineers to build said engine, there is a real opportunity for Apple to make some decent cash out of the traffic it drives through its Mobile Me services, as well as the browser use on PCs, Macs and iPod touch / iPhones.

Search of choice

Apple currently only uses Google as the search engine of choice, and with Eric Schmidt, founder of Google, apparently leaving the Apple board of directors, the rumours of a shake up continue to surface.

However, TechCrunch rationally posits that the company may not be developing its own search engine, rather redesigning the user experience for searching, something it would probably still use Google quite heavily for.

Still, if we know Apple (and nobody bar Steve Jobs does) it loves to dive into established markets... don't rule this one out.