While Google‘s G1 Android phone has already been called an iPhone killer by a few, things between the two heavyweights could heat up very quickly – there are rumours that Apple is developing its own search engine.

The website TechCrunch, has confirmed it has received multiple reports about an Apple search engine.

However, the two companies already have a partnership where Apple uses Google as the default search engine for its Safari web browser. So if Apple were to develop a competing search engine, would the partnership between the companies continue?

“(Apple) obviously aren’t in the advertising business today, so even if they did launch a search engine they’d still heavily rely on Google or its competitors for the advertising piece,” says TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington.

Arrington believes it is more likely that Apple is developing a mobile search engine – probably powered by Google – that could alter mobile search.

All rumours for the moment…