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Users in emerging markets look set to benefit from the brand new alliance between global Internet powerhouse, Yahoo and mobile heavyweight Nokia.
After five years of collaboration, the two companies say they are now “leveraging each others’ strengths in e-mail, instant messaging and maps and navigation services”, with the goal of trying to provide world-class services on both mobile and PC devices.
Each of the partners will be focussing on their core strengths. Nokia has invested heavily in digital mapping, and has developed comprehensive navigation services that currently map 77 countries in 46 languages.
Yahoo will be integrating Ovi Maps across Yahoo properties and branding them as “powered by Ovi”, while Yahoo will become the providers of Nokia’s Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services, which will be branded as “Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo.”
Both companies have identified users in emerging markets as being crucial to the next phase of their development and are developing strategies to serve them better.
Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia says that “Yahoo’s online expertise will bring exciting mail and messaging enhancements to millions of Ovi Mail customers across almost every country around the world, many of whom will have their first Internet experience on their mobile.”
Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz was quick to sing the praises of her new partners, saying that “we believe Nokia’s strength and continued investment in maps and navigation will greatly enhance our existing products, enabling us to focus on areas that are core to our business.”
The strategic alliance between Yahoo and Nokia is one to sit up and take notice of, for sheer size if nothing else. In 2009, Nokia shipped 423-million mobile devices, 68-million of which were smartphones. Yahoo, meanwhile, is the second most visited site online with over 283-million unique Yahoo Mail users worldwide.
Their combined services are expected to be available in the latter half of 2010, with full global availability scheduled for 2011.
In the meantime, Nokia and Yahoo are “beginning by making it easy for people to use their Ovi-user IDs across select Yahoo properties to easily access the online content and services they need.”