Yahoo and Google Unwire

Christian Lindholm, the father of Lifeblog software and Navikey UI leaves Nokia . A few weeks later Lindholm joins Yahoo. A few months later WSJ publishes plans of Yahoo teaming up with SBC and Cingular of joining a co-branded phone made by Nokia. WSJ calls this move “launch of services for advanced cellphone networks.” The cellphone will play digital music, and will have a 1.3 megapixel camera, and be able to do other stuff like TV. (Sounds like 6682, doesn’t it!) I am guessing this is Cingular looking for content for its soon to be launched HSDPA network.

To sum it up: this is an announcement of an anti-MVNO; a phone that is most likely to have an interface tied specifically to Yahoo services like email and search; and it will be a device that hawks Yahoo services. With US wireless penetration hitting 61.7% and more focussed MVNOs like Helio, Amp’d and ESPN Phone coming to market, I wonder how much opportunity there is for Yahoo in this space.

In sharp contrast to Yahoo, Google is going to launch a piece of software that can be downloaded over-the-air on most phones that support Java. The software will be a Google Local application, which will allow users to conduct searches for local services and see them on a map. I do find it interesting the divergent strategies of the two fierce competitors. Yahoo is in bed with the carriers, while Google is betting on neutral networks. I will write more on this later!

PS: Don’t worry, you won’t see the phone till next year. Yahoo just likes to announce ahead of time, it seems ;-). Also, just wondering if this is a tactical admission by the carriers that they can’t do software? Just Kidding! Photo via Vinu’s Flickr Stream!

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