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Monday, February 15, 2010, 12:15 pm PT (03:15 pm ET)

Google stands by Apple as a 'valuable partner'

(Mobile World Congress) Amid rumors of dissension between Google and Apple and a potential Microsoft Bing partnership for the iPhone, a Google executive has insisted all is well between the two companies.

According to Reuters, Vic Gundotra, head of mobile engineering for Google, said his company believes they will remain partners with Apple for some time to come. Google's Android mobile platform and forthcoming entrance into the netbook market with Chrome OS have seen the search giant enter into Apple's market, while Apple's purchase of Quattro Wireless has brought the Cupertino, Calif., company into the advertising business.

"Apple is a very close and valuable partner, and we're very excited about the relationship we have with them today," Gundotra said. "We have no reason to believe that's going to change."

The Google official also declined to comment on numerous rumors that Apple and Microsoft are in talks to make Bing the official provider of search and maps on the iPhone. "We think that relationship is stable," Gundotra said of Google's partnership with Apple for the existing search and maps functionality on the iPhone.

The article also makes note of a "Nexus Two" smartphone, which it states is expected to be a new Android-powered handset with a sliding keyboard targeted at business users. On that, too, Gundotra declined to comment.

The Nexus Two is rumored to be a Motorola-made handset forthcoming. The Nexus One, released in January, was built by HTC and was the first Google-branded handset.

Gundotra noted that Google will take the best Android phones from its partners and highlight them. He said no decisions have been made about how many Google-branded phones there will be.

"We decided to take the flagship phones, the best phones that were available, and those would have Google branding," he said.