While the Google vs. Nokia global battle escalates (GPS-enabled Nokia phones vs. Google Android-driven handsets), the mobile phone is fast becoming the gateway to the Internet, Wireless Web and local search.
You can imagine the frantic calls lately between Silicon Valley and Redmond:
Steve: "Jerry, have your people call my people."
Jerry: "Frack off, Steve."
Yahoo announced a strategic partnership today with T-Mobile in Europe. Yahoo! oneSearch will become the exclusive mobile search service for T-Mobile's 11 European markets by the end of next month. Yahoo! oneSearch is designed for mobile phones to deliver relevant results and instant answers without navigating through a sea of blue links.
A number of Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships have been announced in the last year. Since introducing Yahoo! oneSearch in early 2007, Yahoo! has signed partnership agreements with more than 29 mobile operators covering more than 600 million mobile subscribers worldwide.
In a statement, Marco Boerries, execute vice president, Connected Life, Yahoo, said, "When we created Yahoo! oneSearch, we had a belief that mobile search was not the same as PC search. A fundamentally different approach was required, one that included different usage models and results filtering. Most importantly, we believed there was no guarantee that success in PC search would automatically translate into similar success in mobile search, creating a real opportunity for those who innovate."
Recent strategic Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships include AT&T (United States), a global framework agreement with America Movil (16 countries across Latin America), a partnership with Rogers Wireless (Canada), partnerships with 16 operators (Asia Pacific Region), and an agreement with Telefonica (portals in 15 countries in Europe and Latin America). Yahoo! will be the exclusive or preferred mobile search service on the carrier portal.
Yahoo! oneSearch has added Flight Tracker, movie reviews (critics and UGC), and movie trailers (select carriers/handsets), along with Yahoo! Answers and Wikipedia. If you're lucky enough to read this at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Yahoo will discuss its strategy for the local mobile search ecosystem.