opinion


Is Yahoo ready to Go mobile?

It looks like 2008 will be the year when the battle going on between the giants of the world wide web, like Google and Yahoo, spills over into the mobile space properly. This week, Yahoo followed Google’s lead, to some degree, with the launch of a platform which promises to help developers get their applications onto mobile devices.

Ovum analyst Tony Cripps reckons that while such initiatives are considerable, their importance will only be compounded once the real internet Big Beast, Google, joins the fray. But he says that for end users, the attraction of having well-established web services and applications accessible in a mobile optimised form in one place on their phones – the Yahoo! Go client itself – shouldn’t be underestimated, either in terms of ease of use or stickiness.

This raises a number of headaches for operators. As Cripps notes, how much do carriers want to own the ‘own’ the web experience? Given that Yahoo could potentially become the home portal. The answer to this question has a knock on effect as to whether operators need to re-invent what Yahoo is already building. “With budgets for launching new services under increasing scrutiny, should operators instead embrace Yahoo! Go and its descendents instead of creating their own versions?,” said Cripps.

But not everyone is sold on the idea. Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of mobile device management firm Synchronica, reckons “Yahoo’s lack of support for open standards and homogenised user interface will throttle mass market device support.

“Once again we see a big vendor heralding an “open” mobile platform, which is in fact proprietary technology that does not support common industry standards such as push IMAP and SyncML,” he said.

Yahoo’s move raises some of the same questions that operators will have to ask when Google’s Android platform makes it onto commercial devices later this year. In fact, these are questions that the operators are probably asking already, and will have to do so with more frequency as web companies continue to converge on the mobile space.


2 comments

  1. Carsten Brinkschulte 09/01/2008 @ 1:03 pm

    Yahoo’s lack of support for open standards and homogenised user interface will throttle mass market device support says Synchronica’s CEO.

    Yahoo claims that its platform will allow third party developers to write applications that will run on a wide variety of mobile devices. This is shortsighted claims Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Synchronica. He believes that a lack of a truly open platform and resistance from mobile handset manufacturers will severely restrict mass market adoption of mobile applications based on Yahoo’s “Go” platform.

    Synchronica is a pioneer of mobile email middleware based on open standards, which allow its applications to be used on all ordinary mobile phones. Therefore Brinkschulte has a deep understanding of the ecosystem of mobile handset manufacturers, operators and application vendors:

    “Once again we see a big vendor heralding an “open” mobile platform, which is in fact proprietary technology that does not support common industry standards such as push IMAP and SyncML,” comments Brinkschulte, “In addition, the Go mobile technology takes over the user interface of the device rather than working with the manufacturers’ firmware. Therefore, we believe that Yahoo ‘Go’ applications will receive only limited support from mobile handset manufacturers and this will severely restrict the number of consumers that can use the new applications” he says.

  2. Asaad Alnajjar 10/01/2008 @ 4:41 pm

    Yahoo is not ready for the mobile deployment and their Beta needs major repairs. Google, however, has by far advanced into mobile applications and even the Beta products are usually better than Yahoo final products.

    For example, the GPS map for Google works excellent in the USA & Europe using many devices where yahoo failed to even update as you drive. Testing was done using a Nokia E61.

    Current testing we are doing using a Nokia E51 are doing well on Google and IS NOT working on Yahoo because the Beta for one reason or another failed to support the E51 even though it is identical to the other supported Nokia Es.

    Yahoo needs to get its act together if it is to remain in the race.

    Good luck to both companies.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Events

There are no upcoming events.

Polls

What is your name?

Loading ... Loading ...