Yahoo has stated its intention to become users' first point of call on the mobile internet with the announcement of a new Yahoo Mobile
service for the iPhone, as well as Nokia, RIM, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Windows Mobile-powered devices.
The service, which can be accessed through the web or as a downloadable application for the iPhone and other smartphones, will be available through a managed beta programme from today. The announcement was made at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.
Yahoo Mobile will include oneSearch
, Yahoo News
, which bundles web mail, Yahoo Calendar, Yahoo Address Book and Yahoo Messenger, and access to social networks.
The service will also feature onePlace
, which allows users to collect all the links to their favourite content across the web in a single location. The smartphone version will include voice-powered search, maps and widgets, and an integrated version of the Opera Mini 4.2
"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 at Yahoo.
"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 in formed about the people and things that are important to them."
Ovum analyst Tony Cripps said Yahoo has done well in its bid to be users' first port of call when they access the mobile internet.
"This [offering] is an indication of the way phone and internet services can come together over time," he added.
"Yahoo has been the most productive of all the web companies in demonstrating how it can work, and not just on super high-end devices but across the mass market."
He also praised Yahoo for allowing access to non-Yahoo services such as Gmail, Facebook and MySpace, although he cautioned that Yahoo may suffer by not owning the entire software platform, as Microsoft and Google do.