Mobile search: Here's why Apple may take on Google

The search engine market is likely to get much hotter in the coming year if Apple (AAPL) adds a mobile search engine as the default option on its popular iPhones. Apple has no choice but to enter that game. The Cupertino, Calif. company has been giving (GOOG) a tremendous branding and revenue opportunity -- free of charge -- by incorporating Google Search as the default option in Safari browsers, the only browsers on iPhones.

That the two titans are going to clash, big time, is a foregone conclusion. There have been some warning signs. Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, resigned from (or was asked to leave) Apple's Board of Directors in August. Another Apple director, Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson, left the Google board not long after. He did this, ostensibly, to avoid conflict of interest.