Mobile
Commentary
5/21/2010
02:45 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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What Are Nokia And Yahoo Planning For Monday?

Yahoo recently invited the press to gather at an announcement it is holding on Monday, May 24. The invite uses an interesting combination of words, which includes "global", "mobile" and "consumers." According to the Wall Street Journal, Nokia is involved. What gives?

Yahoo recently invited the press to gather at an announcement it is holding on Monday, May 24. The invite uses an interesting combination of words, which includes "global", "mobile" and "consumers." According to the Wall Street Journal, Nokia is involved. What gives?Kara Swisher over at AllThingsD insists that Nokia and Yahoo are going to announce "Project Nike." This event has nothing to do with with the sneakers that Michael Jordan helped make famous, but instead something else altogether.

Swisher says that the partnership between the two companies will have Nokia adopting Yahoo's email, search, and other services into its mobile handsets. Exsqueezeme?

Yahoo has a number of mobile services, but none of them are packaged together in a wrapper so consumer-friendly as Google's Android platform. In fact, Swisher points out correctly that most of Yahoo's mobile efforts have been met with failure to-date. We know what Nokia's track record in the U.S. is (i.e., not so good lately). So what could these two companies be up to?

Believe it or not, Yahoo is still the number one provider of webmail across the U.S. It beats out Microsoft's Windows Live/Hotmail, and Gmail. Nokia has struggled to convince U.S. users to join its Ovi email service in serious numbers. If Nokia were to switch all its default programs such as email, contacts, calendar, etc., to Yahoo's web-based services, could that give Nokia the oomph it needs to turn around U.S. handset sales? I doubt it, but I suppose it is worth a shot.

Both companies certainly need some help when it comes to penetrating the mobile space in the U.S. Google, Apple and Research In Motion are eating Nokia and Yahoo's lunch.

Swisher convinced at least one person who is "familiar" with the two company's plans to say, "Recently, Nokia has offered devices that people don't want and Yahoo has launched mobile services that they don't want. Perhaps in working together, they will find a way to finally create some value." That is hardly the most positive comment I've ever seen.

The press conference is scheduled for 10AM on Monday. We'll find out then.

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