The freshly launched fourth edition iPhone operating system (OS) has been used to purge Apple's flagship mobile phone of anything related to its rival Google.
Most notable is that the internet search giant is no longer referenced on the iPhone's virtual keypad, which has led some to suggest that Apple has started a process that will eventually see Google's services completely decoupled from the iPhone.
The current iPhone OS gives the user a Google button to use on the keypad if they want to initiate a search.
However, in a beta version of the iPhone OS 4.0 this is ditched in favour of a plain 'search' key.
References to Google are also absent from other areas of the platform, including the brand new iPhone Spotlight web search feature.
Google's own Android platform has slightly soured the relationship with Apple and its partnership with Apple's new arch enemy Adobe, which could see Google's Chrome browser offering native Flash support, will probably have made things worse.
News of these latest developments means that recent reports that Microsoft's Bing could be set to become the next iPhone search partner are sounding increasingly credible.
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