RealTime IT News

Yahoo a Go-Go on Moto Phones

Motorola , the second-largest cell phone manufacturer, will start packing Yahoo applications.

Beginning in the first half of 2007, mid-priced and high-end Motorola phones will include Yahoo Go for Mobile, a package consisting of e-mail and search, as well as an address book.

In a statement, Motorola said the services will be available on "optimized handsets" across the Americas, Europe and Asia. This might suggest the Yahoo features may be limited to smartphones.

A Yahoo spokesperson admitted there is a short list of possible phones, but said specifics won't be released now.

Because the Internet is no longer solely a desktop experience, Yahoo said the agreement with Motorola brings its services to "the device they always have with them and use multiple times every day –- their mobile phone," Marco Boernes, senior vice president of Connected Life at Yahoo, said in a statement.

Motorola joins Nokia , AT&T and RIM as companies, including Yahoo services on their mobile devices.

And the agreement marks the latest win for Yahoo, as it battles Internet giant Google for space on millions of tiny mobile screens.

"For Yahoo customers looking to expand access to the Web, this is a portent of things to come," said Mike McGuire of Gartner.

Internet players are all racing to place their services on phones and other mobile devices. While Yahoo has inked deals with the most prominent phone manufacturers and carriers, McGuire doesn't see the lead insurmountable for rivals.

"Google is being relatively careful how they roll out," he said.

Mobile network operator Vodafone announced earlier this year it is working with Google to develop mobile search services for its subscribers. Google Talk is also linked with RIM's BlackBerry service.

McGuire said more services, once tethered to the desktop, may migrate to mobile devices.

Some possibilities are mobile news and sports information or search results piped to cell phones. The mobile phone could also transform into yet another advertising channel for Yahoo, Google and other Internet companies, according to the analyst.