For what seems like an eternity, Google has had an iron grip on the search market. However, a recent deal between Mozilla and Yahoo to make Yahoo the default search engine of Firefox seems to have loosened Google’s grip just a little bit.

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Bloomberg reports that over the past month, Yahoo’s share of Internet searches in the U.S. received a noticeable bump in the last month while Google’s share of U.S. searches declined to its lowest level since 2008. Granted, Google is still absolutely dominant with a 75% share of the search market but considering a year ago it had a 79% share, we can see how Mozilla’s deal with Yahoo has helped chip away at Google’s lead.

We mention all this because if Mozilla’s shift could have a small but noticeable impact on Google’s market share, we wonder what would happen if Apple were to remove Google as its default search engine on iOS’s Safari browser.

We’ve read in earlier reports that Apple is considering giving Google the boot from Safari on iOS and that both Microsoft and Yahoo are in talks with the company to replace Google with their own search engines. While dumping Google on Safari obviously wouldn’t completely erode Google’s lead in the search market, it would likely make an even greater impact than Mozilla’s decision to dump Google.

In other words, it seems that if Apple really wants to hurt Google where it matters most, it will follow Mozilla’s lead.

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