Nokia and Yahoo have announced a worldwide partnership, which covers maps, navigation, email and instant messaging across PC and Mobile Devices. Nokia will exclusively power Yahoo’s maps and navigation services, and Ovi Maps will be integrated across Yahoo properties, branded as ‘powered by Ovi‘. Yahoo will exclusively power Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services, as “Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo”.
Interestingly, the two are going to work towards using IDs between services – Ovi user IDs will work for certain Yahoo properties, and vice versa. Remember that Nokia has been trying to use its Ovi Services to sell handsets; rather than asking users to transition to Ovi Services, they can now leverage the Yahoo partnership.
For Yahoo, mobile is an important play, particularly in emerging markets like India. During a discussion with Techcrunch, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said that messenger is particularly popular in emerging markets, and it was important for them to get the messenger on the handset company that is popular outside the US.
What About MapMyIndia?
Yahoo maps in India are powered by CE Infosystems (MapMyIndia). So what happens to its deal with MapMyIndia at a local (India) level once a global deal with Nokia is struck? We’re awaiting a response from Yahoo India on this.
Yahoo’s Strategy: Get Rid Of What Isn’t Core, Focus On The Audience
Yahoo’s appears to be focusing increasingly on getting rid of what isn’t core to their business: in the past, they’ve sold off HotJobs to Monster, inked a deal for Microsoft’s Bing powering Yahoo Search, Personals to Match.com, and now Maps to Ovi. What Yahoo intends to do, though, is customize the interface for users. In a discussion with Techcrunch, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said that they’re serving a million different modules of the front page today, each personalized for users based on their usage patterns. Bartz says the clickthrough rate went up twice with the changes: