Yahoo cuts deals for Go for Mobile 2.0

Yahoo’s battle with Google for mobile dominance has gone global, as Yahoo last week announced Go for Mobile 2.0 and new distribution agreements with Research in Motion, Nokia, Sony, Samsung, 3 Group and Opera Software.

Mobile devices now outnumber PCs 12-1 worldwide, and Yahoo plans to redefine mobile search with its oneSearch, a service designed to give users answers instantly.

“Yahoo oneSearch changes the mobile search game by fundamentally improving the way consumers access and use the Internet on their mobile phones,” said Marco Boerries, senior vice president of connected life, Yahoo, Sunnyvale, CA. “It delivers a mobile-optimized search experience that understands what consumers are looking for and presents answers directly in the results, not just a list of Web links to PC sites.”

By the end of 2007, Yahoo hopes to make oneSearch available across its Mobile Web and SMS services. The service will be available in different countries and languages in the coming months.

How does it work? Let’s say a consumer wants to see the results of a New York Yankees game. After entering “New York Yankees” into the search box, the results first would list the score of the most recent game and information on the next scheduled game, then content like a team roster, official Web site, photos and related news articles. To go deeper, the user would click on any item or category.

Also, the Local and Maps features give access to a local directory, interactive maps, driving directions and real-time traffic updates. Users also can access news, sports, entertainment, weather and finance. Photo sharing is available through Go to Mobile 2.0, and users can access their e-mail.

“The availability of Yahoo Go 2.0 for Nokia’s most popular mass-market devices will allow millions of consumers to unlock the power of their Nokia Series 40 device,” said Heikki Norta, senior vice president of mobile phones for Nokia. “The availability of familiar Yahoo services on a mobile platform simplifies the Internet experience for these customers, who may otherwise not explore the full potential of their Nokia Series 40 device. This will allow more people to become part of the new generation of mobile Internet users.”

In the first half of 2007, the companies also will make Yahoo Go 2.0 available for a wider range of devices and pre-load it onto millions of new Series 40 devices.

Research in Motion and Yahoo previously launched Yahoo services to BlackBerry users through 120 mobile operators in nearly 60 countries.

“Our relationship with Yahoo continues to grow and to benefit mobile users who want to access Yahoo’s popular services via the industry-leading BlackBerry platform,” said Jim Balsillie, Research in Motion’s chairman/co-CEO.

The companies will make Yahoo Go 2.0 available for a wider range of handsets in the first half of this year and tighten integration between Yahoo Go and the BlackBerry platform.

“Samsung mobile phones with Yahoo services will provide consumers with fast and convenient access to the Internet, even on the move,” said Kitae Lee, president of Samsung’s telecommunications network business.

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