Nokia and Yahoo! pair up for integrated web services
Co-branded service offerings will be available worldwide next year
Yahoo! and Nokia have formed a strategic alliance that will see Nokia Ovi maps integrated across Yahoo! properties on both PCs and mobile devices, with Yahoo! will be providing e-mail and messaging services to Nokia customers worldwide.
In addition, the two companies are working on an ‘ID federation' across their services, which will see registered Ovi users access selected Yahoo! properties using just their Ovi IDs.
"Delivering great user experiences -- both online and on your mobile - is what this alliance is all about," said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO, Nokia. "We're enabling millions of Yahoo! customers in key markets including North America to discover the unique capabilities that Ovi Maps brings. Similarly, Yahoo!'s online expertise will bring exciting mail and messaging enhancements to millions of Ovi Mail customers across almost every country around the world, many of whom will have their first Internet experience on their mobile."
Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo!, said the combination would bring personalised experiences to more people across the mobile web, "particularly in emerging markets where we are seeding the next generation of Yahoo! users".
As part of the alliance announced yesterday, Maps on Yahoo! will be branded as ‘powered by Ovi', while Nokia IM and e-mail services will be branded as ‘Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo!'.
Co-branded service offerings are expected to go live from the second half of the year, though global availability is slated only for 2011.
Analysts are divided about the potential success of the decision but agree that it was likely spurred on by competition from rival Google.
"This appears like a positive deal for both Nokia and Yahoo! to enforce their respective capabilities on consumer mobile email and IM (for Nokia) and mobile maps/location services (for Yahoo!) - and prepare a joint response to their biggest threat in respective markets i.e. Google - which is making rapid steps in mobile services and device platforms and heading towards dominant position in both markets," said Monica Basso, VP of Communications Applications, Mobility & Collaboration at Gartner Research.