Feeds

A Yahoo! phone? Nokia can help

Deal bypasses network operators

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Heads rolled at Google last year when the New York Times revealed that the company was considering a Google-branded phone. Unfortunately, it was the wrong set of heads: the leakers, rather than the executives responsible for hatching the idea, were sent packing. As anyone from Nike to Claudia Schiffer can testify, branding a phone or a PDA has proved to be an expensive vanity exercise.

Wise to this, Yahoo! has teamed up with Nokia to encourage phone buyers to use its mobile services. Nokia will bundle a number of Yahoo! binary applications with selected Series 60 Symbian phones. The worldwide deal encompasses major Asian and European markets but not, as yet, the Americas. Initial devices supported will be the nokia 6680, 6681 and 6630 with more to be announced later this week, and the services on offer will initially encompass messaging and personalization downloads such as ring tones.

The deal is sure to make carriers nervous.

The network operators have sought to position themselves as the punter's default gateway to mobile data, and they act as an intermediary between the mobile content providers and the handset manufacturers. Of course this deal potentially cuts them out of the picture, and the prospect of taking a revenue cut from every transaction - a model that DoCoMo has proved can work - disappears with it. It could turn out to be as much of a threat to the network operators as Apple's iTunes phone which we discussed here last week.

Yahoo! has almost 9 million subscribers - small beer compared to a Vodafone or a Cingular, but the cost of acquiring a customer is much smaller and the churn is much lower, so Yahoo! customers are in it for the long run. Yahoo! has the edge over arch-rival Google in making its services mobile-friendly, although Google recently added image search and local search to its mobile offerings, and offers an SMS interface to its main search index. Which in turn (thanks to Erik Thauvin) has spawned a nifty Java applet. So software as a service can also be ... er, software. ®

Related stories

Phone DRM: the most expensive royalty operation ever
Kill the Crackberry!
GUGL TXTS U YR SRCH RSLTS
Hey, where'd my porn go?
'Horoscopes' is AOL's most searched word

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.