Yahoo, Nokia to Offer 'Social' Mobile Devices
NEW YORK – Yahoo and Nokia announced a global partnership today that brings Nokia's Ovi map and navigation services to Yahoo's substantial user base on both computers and mobile devices. Yahoo will provide email and messaging services on Nokia's phones.
This co-branding of some services pairs Nokia, the world's top mobile handset maker, with Yahoo, a leading email and messaging provider, and addresses gaps in the business profile of both firms.
At a press conference here in midtown Manhattan, Yahoo's CEO Carol Bartz explained how her company "lost its focus on maps a couple years ago," losing ground to Google Maps, for example.
Socially inspired, location-based services, such as FourSquare, are all the rage now in that "people want to know where they and their friends are," Bartz said.
"We’ll be announcing in a few weeks wonderful social-like additions to our mail, messenger and basic services," she added, and further integration of Yahoo and Nokia will continue later in the year.
The alliance with Yahoo will help Nokia move more units in the United States, according to Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, who also spoke at the press conference.
"We are an unusual global company in the sense that we are a leader in our industry yet we do not lead in the biggest market, the U.S.," Kallasvuo said.
Both Yahoo and Nokia see the partnership as critically important for business in the developing world as well, where millions of people in Indonesia, India and elsewhere are going online for the first time from their phones, many of which are made by Nokia.
"There is a generation of people growing up who are connected solely through their mobile devices," Kallsvuo said.
A touted Yahoo-branded phone – code-named Project Nike – did not receive a mention at the event, and when asked during a Q&A session about whether such a device is part of the new partnership, Kallasvuo said: "A Yahoo phone? No, that’s out of the scope completely."