April 1, 2009
Yahoo rolled out its new suite of mobile applications for the iPhone 3G and other handsets Wednesday at the CTIA Wireless trade show.
The Yahoo Messenger app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store, and it enables iPhone and iPod Touch users to send and receive messages, share photos, add contacts, and change status. The Yahoo Mobile app is available for more than 300 handsets with HTML-enabled browsers, and it offers a portal to online content like social networks, news, RSS, and Yahoo-based e-mail. "Consumers around the globe are demanding compelling mobile Internet services that offer increased personalization," said David Ko, senior VP of Yahoo Mobile, in a statement. "To further capitalize on the market potential and continue our mobile leadership, we created Yahoo Mobile, a dynamic starting point enabling consumers to discover the world around them, stay connected through a variety of communication services, and customize content to define their Internet experience on mobile devices." It's unclear how big a role the mobile division will play as the company is in the midst of a reorganization under new CEO Carol Bartz, and Microsoft continues to show interest in an acquisition. Marco Boerries, Yahoo's highly visible mobile leader, recently left for personal reasons, but many industry watchers expected the resignation once Bartz was brought on board. The mobile division has been tough to monetize so far, but the new apps could help as they'll feature display advertising with rich media functions like click-to-call and location-based services. The company may extend this advertising to its Blueprint platform, which enables developers to write an app once and have it run on multiple phones, including Java, Windows Mobile, and Symbian.
Most companies are just starting the hard work of mobilizing workforces by bringing the software they use to smartphones. InformationWeek analyzed this issue in an independent report, and it can be downloaded here (registration required)
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