Having snapped up the mapping service NAVTEQ, Yahoo has now announced a tie-in with mobile phone giant Nokia to provide Mail and Chat services for their devices. So what does this all mean?
Yahoo has been slow to capitalise on the mobile market. Whilst Google and Microsoft have developed their own highly popular operating systems, Yahoo has been far less productive. Now though, with the help of the world’s most popular mobile manufacturer, they might just have their entry point.
With Yahoo Chat, Mail and the newly re-energised Maps being pre-loaded into future Nokia devices, there’s a window of opportunity. Unfortunately though, they do face rather stiff opposition.
Nokia of course have to fend off pressure from the likes of Apple, HTC, Samsung and a whole bevy of manufacturers. Yahoo is struggling to maintain its own identity in an increasingly Google-centric. Essentially these are two giants battling to retain or even regain relevance in a changing market.
With all elements considered it is difficult to get too excited about this deal. The real mobile market fight is between the two leading operating systems, the iPhone and Android. Whilst the iPhone is the most popular individual device, the breadth of devices using Android makes Google’s platform the most used.
For Nokia, the Yahoo partnership isn’t likely to generate a spike of additional interest. Yahoo will at least benefit from having their brand and products on all supporting devices, giving them some mobile visibility.
Bing has been working hard to become the default search engine for a variety of devices. Offering enticing offers for users, manufacturers and distributors could see them make headway in the future. However, with Google still the default search engine on the iPhone (although for how much longer nobody knows) and its own Android service, they have a pretty steady footing already.
Yahoo’s major problem is that they don’t even have a search engine any more. Whilst they do still have valuable properties, including the most popular email and news services online, breaking into a new market without anything new to offer looks challenging.
The mobile Internet is the new battleground for the search giants to conquer. With their collaboration with Nokia and investment in NAVTEQ, Yahoo will invariably hope that they have made their first major strides into the battle. But is it all too little too late?
With Google having now completed their $750 million acquisition of mobile advertising firm AdMob, the Yahoo/Nokia deal is put firmly into context. Google, just like Apple, have recognised that there is an emerging market and have used their financial strength and brand visibility to stamp their authority. Can Yahoo really compete with this, Nokia or not?