Nokia, Yahoo! in maps, email deal

Nokia, Yahoo! in maps, email deal

The role of mobile services and software has increased sharply since Apple and Google entered the industry, forcing traditional phonemakers like Samsung and Nokia to hurry to build up their offerings.

Nokia has splashed more than $10 billion in just a few years to build a new business by offering Internet services ranging from music downloads to e-mail, but these have so far won few paying customers.

Under the new deal Yahoo! will be the exclusive provider of Nokia’s e-mail service, while Nokia will be exclusive provider of maps and navigation for Yahoo!.  The two said they would also start to co-operate on access to services, beginning by making it easy for people to use their Ovi user credentials across select Yahoo! services.
Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz says location is becoming increasingly important and serves as “an anchor for all services.”

Bartz says that by tapping into Nokia’s strength in maps and navigation, Yahoo! can focus on other areas it considers core to its business.  Last month, Yahoo! also struck a deal with Samsung to put its services and software more prominently on cellphones of the world’s second-largest cellphone company.

“It’s a deeper collaboration than many expected,” said MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittinen.  “It could really help broaden the reach of Nokia’s email and messaging services in emerging markets, where they already have decent traction.”