Yahoo announced the launch on Tuesday of a new integrated service for mobile users in a move that analysts say returns the company to its 1990s roots of creating a compelling user experience.
Yahoo Mobile will allow users to customize the information they regularly check out on the Web on their mobile devices, organize it by topic, drawing on Yahoo’s collection of news services, and organize their social networks and contacts.
“The whole rabid religion we have is that the experience has to be personal. Every pixel matters, you have small real estate and you have a little bit of time,” said Adam Taggart, head of product marketing for Yahoo.
There are three ways to access the service: over a mobile browser, with an application for the Apple iPhone, or with an application for smartphones from Nokia, RIM, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and Motorola as well as devices powered by Windows Mobile.
The services will be available to Yahoo’s 25 million US users — and anyone who creates a Yahoo account — at the end of next month. From there it will be rolled out to Britain, France, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, Taggart said.
IDC analyst Scott Ellison said the launch was interesting because it wasn’t just for smartphones but also for lower-end devices that allow Internet access.
“They are aiming for a broader slice of the market, rather than the Apples or the Androids of the world,” Ellis said.
“It is intended to be a starting point for the mobile Internet,” he said.