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Tim Cook has been a great leader at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) since his appointment last year. The only criticism that commentators have about his performance is the lack of any big moves or major redesigns at the firm. That may all be about to change if hints he gave earlier this week about iOS 6 are to be believed.

At a major tech conference last week Cook said that a closer relationship with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) could be expected in the future. That was taken as a signal that the social network will be integrated into Apple’s next operating system. The relationship is one that seems to make sense for both firms at the moment.

It would not be the first time the company integrated a social network into iOS. The fourth incarnation of the operating system came with the integration of Twitter. In the run up to the release of that OS many had expected Facebook integration would be a feature. Analysis showed that integration was being prepared for in the beta testing versions of  iOS 4 but those elements were fully removed by the time of full release.

A TechCrunch report added fuel to the speculation fire when it asserted confirmation that iOS 6 would indeed have Facebook’s social network completely integrated. It is unclear how the integration will work in detail but it’s certain that the teams of programmers and designers at Cupertino can figure it out.

As Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) delineates the battle lines by setting up its own services across the board it seems the increasing alienation of other firms might cause them to band together. Apple hasn’t shown any interest in operating web services, barring its cloud and content services, and Facebook has yet to compete with Apple in any meaningful way.

It makes sense for the two companies to help each other as Google attempts to take control of almost every market relating to internet usage. The lines of competition are complicated however. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) directly competes with Google on many fronts yet offers a tablet based on the firm’s Android Mobile OS.

Greater Facebook integration into the iPhone is something that has been longed for by many and should form a cornerstone of the demand for the iPhone 5. It is assumed that will be the first product to use iOS 6 and so will be the first to see Facebook integration. That device is expected some time next August.