This alliance is a statement that Yahoo admits that they were not doing too well with Maps and Navigation, while Nokia accepted that they didn’t have a compelling Ovi Mail and Chat service; and that to fix this lacuna both companies have decided to join hands.
The result is that Nokia will now power Yahoo!’s maps and navigation services, integrating Ovi Maps across Yahoo! properties, with the “powered by Ovi” branding. While Yahoo! will become the exclusive provider of Nokia’s Ovi Mail and Ovi Chat services which will be branded as “Ovi Mail / Ovi Chat powered by Yahoo!”. So far so good.
Yahoo is big in the US, infact it is the second most visited site in America and this is the userbase Nokia is looking to leverage and get better brand recognition for Ovi. Plus with Yahoo coming in, Nokia’s Ovi Mail and Chat will get better functionality without Nokia having to work on something it does not have a history with. As part of the deal, ID federation is being worked upon so that you will be able to sign in with your Ovi Account into Yahoo!’s various properties.
I think this is a very smart deal. Google already does Maps, Email and IM very well and both Nokia and Yahoo are in no position to dominate Google in all fields. Nokia does Ovi Maps very well and in my opinion they are better than Google Maps for most purposes specially in countries where there is no Google Navigation. Yahoo is perhaps the second most popular email and IM provider, after Google again. So these No. 2 ranked companies are joining resources to try and become number 1.
Timeframe for this to happen? Select, co-branded service offerings are expected to become available from the second half of 2010, with global availability expected in 2011.
In the last one year Nokia has really been on a collaborating spree, first Microsoft, then the big one with Intel to give birth to MeeGo and now Yahoo!. All of these things take time to mature, so here’s hoping they pull of a superlative volte-face come 2011.
PS: What I would have liked even more – Ovi Share to be powered by Yahoo! Flickr anyone?