YAHOO!  STRENGTHENS  MOBILE  STRATEGY,  EYES  'MOBILE  FIRST'  USERS

LAS VEGAS
, JANUARY 17, 2007
  (STAR) By Alma Buelva - Web portal Yahoo sought to carve out a role for itself in last week’s Consumer Electronic Show (CES) as a major provider of content in a growing array of digital devices.

Yahoo finds to its advantage the way many non-PC products – from mobile phones and PDAs to television and even car systems – are also becoming conduits of digital content. Against this backdrop, the Sunnyvale, California-based company launched during the CES its version 2.0 of Yahoo Go for Mobile that delivers more Internet services, including an entirely new search service called oneSearch to mobile and IP devices.

The one-year-old Yahoo Go for Mobile lets users access an integrated suite of services, including Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Search, Yahoo Photos, Yahoo Calendar, and Yahoo Address book, among others, using their mobile phones. It is seamlessly synchronized to a Yahoo ID that can be accessed on a PC (or TV) as well.

There are at present around 500 million Yahoo users accessing their Yahoo accounts mostly from computers. By extending the company’s Yahoo Go vision and strategy, users will be able to connect to the Internet using the medium they really care about, says Marco Boerries, Yahoo senior vice president for Connected Life. That device is the mobile phone.

"For the first time, the Internet now fits on your phone. In the last 10 years, the industry tried to squeeze the Internet to the phone. Yahoo Go is the Internet in your pocket," adds Boerries.

Based on latest industry estimates, there are one billion PCs in the world and approximately two billion cellphones. The latter has reached unprecedented growth with 25 mobile phones created every second around the world today, compared to only four human live births per second.

Yahoo and mobile phone manufacturers say at least 50 percent of Internet users outside the United States or those in the developing markets may never use a PC and will access or have accessed the Internet for the first time using a mobile phone. Addressing the needs of this possible new segment of "mobile first" users is key to the Yahoo Go strategy.

"The global mobile phone-to-PC ratio is 12:1 but we’re seeing that it’s even more than that in Asia," says David Ko, vice president and general manager of Yahoo Connected Life in Asia. "In emerging markets, people connect to the Internet using their mobile phones so we are taking what we learned from the PC space and applying them now to the mobile world."

For the Internet to go airborne, Yahoo has forged unprecedented partnership with competing major mobile phone manufacturers Motorola, Nokia and Samsung.

Ed Zander, chairman and CEO of Motorola, and keynote speaker during the CES, describes the Internet on a mobile phone a "cool experience… that allows the Internet to follow you."

Yahoo’s mobile phone partners will preload Yahoo Go for Mobile on their newer devices. Consumers can also download the application to their compatible devices, says Ko, adding that they expect Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0 to be available in 400 devices by the end of 2007.

Yahoo also has partnerships with over 80 mobile operators in 40 countries to distribute its mobile services to consumers. It has partnered with mobile service operators Globe Telecom and Smart.

"We have major partnerships for Connected Life in Asia where mobile devices are so pervasive. OEMs and operators see big value in partnering with us to drive data (revenue)," says Ko.

Yahoo’s Connected Life group includes the company’s mobile, co-branded broadband, digital home and PC client services, and Yahoo’s strategic partnerships with companies, including AT&T, BT, Cingular, Nokia and Motorola. This includes the Yahoo Go suite of services, too.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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