Yahoo and Nokia announced yesterday that they would be collaborating together to create an entity that could, in size and depth, rival RIM, Google, Apple and Microsoft in the mobile market.
The four aforementioned companies are the only ones that provide with the operating system as well as the ecosystem to sustain it. Google and Apple have been the most active players in the market with Android and iPhone OS.
What the Yahoo/Nokia announcement does is bringing the disparate array of services both companies have into a more coherent environment. Whether they will succeed remains to be seen.
Yahoo has been late, very late in the mobile market where Google is currently the undisputed leader and Nokia's Ovi Venture has received, what we shall call a rather lukewarm welcome.
At the beginning of the year, Ovi Mail had a mere five million users and at the end of February, Ovi Store was registering 1.5 million downloads a day. In comparison, Apple is doing more than 10 million app downloads per day with this number likely to increase with the launch of the iPad and the iPhone 4G.
Both companies face the uphill task of having to fight four different competitors and deliver a comprehensive range of services fast. Yahoo and Nokia have a combined user base of a few hundred millions customers worldwide.
In their press releases yesterday, they did mention that they would "utilize their respective global distribution advantages and brand recognition across consumer audiences" and that there would be co-branded service offerings coming this year.
However, with Apple on the verge of offering iAd and some say, a mobile search engine, while Microsoft will bring Bing to Windows Phone 7 Series by the end of the year, 2010 will be a tough year for both Yahoo & Nokia.