Yahoo! has reportedly commenced talks with Apple over deeper integration of the company’s apps and services in iOS devices. The companies are discussing how exactly Yahoo!’s services can hold a prominent position in the Apple ecosystem.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, sources with knowledge of the matter said while the deal is not impending, Yahoo! and Apple are going ahead with the talks. Yahoo! already provides a large chunk of content on iOS devices like weather, stocks, sports and web search in Safari. Yahoo!’s data also figures prominently in Apple’s voice assistant Siri’s database.
The two companies are now said to be mulling how the partnership can be strengthened by incorporating more of Yahoo!’s services. The report notes that Yahoo!’s sports and news services could figure more prominently with this deep partnership. We can safely assume that deeper integration with Siri could also be on the cards.
Deeper integration coming soon?
It isn’t too surprising to see Yahoo! pushing to remain relevant in the mobile department. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company has practically revived its web avatar and is gaining ground steadily. Back at the DLD Conference at Munich in January this year, COO Henrique de Castro mentioned that Yahoo! is aiming to be the “Google of content”.
Accepting that Yahoo! needed a drastic overhaul, de Castro, formerly Google's President of Business Solutions, said the portal lacked personalisation. “The desktop portal needs to transform itself,” he said. “The personalisation is not there, the tech is not there, and generalist portals are losing traffic.”
Now it looks like Yahoo!'s mobile department is set for an overhaul, and Apple seems like the perfect partner for that. Besides the fact that the companies share a warm friendship amongst themselves, Apple is firmly moving away from Google as much as it can.
Yahoo! and Google are supposed to be long-time rivals as far as web services are concerned, although Google owning the Android platform complicates the mix a bit. Apple’s iOS is the prime competitor as far as Android is concerned and the talks between the two companies seems like a fun case of “the enemy of my enemy is a friend.”
Apple stopped depending on Google for its services by launching Apple Maps—even if it was a little too premature—and also did away with the in-built YouTube app. The search giant is still pushing out the best updates for its iOS-based apps, though.
If the deal does come through, it could be a sore spot for yet another party—Microsoft. Back in 2010, Yahoo! and Microsoft inked a ten-year deal according to which the latter's Bing would power Yahoo!’s web search. Microsoft could see red over Yahoo! partnering with a competitor.
While the talks are still rumoured to be under way, it could be possible that once successful, we will see a lot more Yahoo!-powered data baked into the newer version of iOS, which is due sometime this year.
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