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"We believe the new Yahoo! Mobile will transform the way millions of mobile users around the world will interact with the Internet," said Marco Boerries, executive vice president, Yahoo! Inc. "Yahoo! Mobile will enable users to create their own Internet starting point on their mobile device so they can better discover, connect to and stay informed about the people and things that are important to them."
A managed beta program for Yahoo! Mobile has started today. Consumers interested in participating should enter [mobile.yahoo.com...] into their phone's browser.
According to Yahoo, the mobile Web and iPhone(TM) versions of Yahoo! Mobile are planned to include the following features:-
Yahoo! oneSearch, Yahoo! oneConnect (including Email, Pulse, Yahoo Messenger, Yahoo Address Book, Yahoo Calendar), Today, Yahoo News, Yahoo! onePlace.
In addition, the smartphone version will include the above functionality, plus:-
Yahoo! oneSearch with Voice, Maps, Opera Mini 4.2, and Widgets.
I find this strange. The idea that normal serps and other offerings are what mobile users want is preposterous. Mobile users want serps to return pages that are appropriate for the small screens on their mobiles. The same for other related offerings. Yahoo seem to have understood this whilst Google don't.
Let's not forget mobile devices have an expected lifetime of a year or two at most, and their evolution is fast paced, far faster than in the desktop/laptop world.
If you own the G1 or the Iphone...
Android/G1 and iphones are not very popular is Asia, which is a big and fast growing market. For example, iPhone is still not available in China through official channels because Apple still doesn't have a tie-up with a Chinese telco and China is the biggest cellphone market in the world. Only a few thousand iPhones have been sold through official channels in India since launch last year because of the very high cost of these handsets. AFAIK, G1 is still not available here in India, which is the second biggest mobile market in the world.
On the other hand likes of Nokia N-series handsets, new Nokia 5800 and Nokia E-series handsets are very popular over here in India and all over Asia. These handsets are used by a large number of people, including me, for email as well as for general browsing while on the move. Its seems that Yahoo is aware that there are a lot of untapped customers outside the USA and hence this is the right move. I hope that Yahoo mobile will work well with these smartphones and hence take some market share away from Google.