Rumor: Baidu Is Talking To Apple to Have Its Mobile Input Method Pre-installed in iOS for Chinese

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One big reason for me to have my iOS device jailbroken is that its pre-intalled input method for Chinese is not convenient to use. Using QWERTY keyboard to input Chinese is slow; you can not really input a long sentence with it, and it is a headache if you need input English & Chinese mixed message as you have to switch between English and Chinese input method.

Good news is that Apple seems to realize this issue and wants to introduce a solution. Instead of developing a new input method for Chinese, Apple might be working with Baidu to have Baidu’s mobile input method pre-installed into iOS. We heard this rumor yesterday from an experienced entrepreneur, but he refused to tell us who’s his news source.

We contacted Michale Wong, the founder of Touchpal, a Shanghai-based startup which claims the No.2 popular input method in the world. He told us, in Chinese local market, Sogou is clearly the No.1 in input method market, and Baidu now has taken the 2nd in terms of number of downloads. The newly released Baidu input method supports iOS5.1.1, and comes with cool features such as voice input, cloud library, pinyin input, stroke input etc.

What I am quite curious about is that, if the rumor is confirmed, does that mean Chinese version of iOS will also have Baidu search as the default search engine, and Baidu map the replacement of Google Map? That would be another sad story for Google in China.