Yahoo Inc and Nokia Oyj said they would team up to boost their mobile Internet offerings, seeking to regain market share lost to rivals like Apple Inc and Google Inc. Starting in the second half of this year, Yahoo will host Nokia's Ovi email on phones exclusively and Nokia in turn will provide maps and navigation for Yahoo. At a news conference in New York on Monday, the companies highlighted the importance of expanding services for users in emerging markets, for whom the phone is increasingly the primary device for using the Web.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said the company had not invested sufficiently in its maps offering and hoped the partnership with Nokia would help it leap forward. “Yahoo lost its focus on maps a couple of years ago,” she said. Bartz said that while the Nokia deal was not an advertising partnership, the offer of improved location and navigation technology would help drive Yahoo's bid to build local advertising and marketing services for consumers. “The ability to do local performance advertising is really on our radar screen,” she said. “Having location combined with great local content is what our users are looking for.” The companies also said they would start to cooperate on access to services, beginning by making it easy for people to use Nokia's Ovi user credentials across select Yahoo services.