SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE: Yahoo! today announced several new mobile initiatives for the Asia Pacific region, including five new Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships with leading mobile operators including India's Mahanagar Telephon Nigam Limited (MTNL), Hong Kong CSL Limited (CSL), Smart Communications Inc. (Smart, Philippines), Digital Mobile Phlis, Inc. (SUN Cellular, Philippines) and Vibo Telecom Inc. (Vibo, Taiwan).
Additionally, Yahoo! announced localized versions of Yahoo! Go 3.0 for India, Australia and Southeast Asia, including a local language version for Indonesia, and an English version of Yahoo! oneSearch with voice that recognizes regional accents.
The company also announced the launch of new mobile widgets for the Asia Pacific region including Yahoo! Cricket, Yahoo! Answers and Showtimes (Yahoo! India Movies), as well as a MTV Asia mobile widget featuring news updates and music charts.
These announcements further unveil Yahoo!'s next phase of mobile strategy for the Asia Pacific region.
Today's Yahoo! oneSearch partnerships announcement brings the total number of mobile search deals signed by Yahoo! worldwide in the last 18 months to over 60.
"Sixty signed Yahoo! oneSearch partner deals is a great milestone, putting us on our way to our goal of ultimately connecting the billions of mobile consumers around the globe with the best possible Internet experience," said Marco Boerries, executive vice-president, Connected Life, Yahoo!.
"Today's partnerships and product launches further Yahoo!'s global momentum and serve to reinforce our strong position in the mobile industry."
"Working closely with our partners, Yahoo! oneSearch is a starting point for mobile consumers across the Asia Pacific region, delivering locally relevant information on their mobile devices," said David Ko, managing director and vice president, Yahoo! Connected Life, Asia Pacific.
"Our mobile strategy to lead and enable the mobile ecosystem is being implemented by focusing on developing mobile-first experiences, like Yahoo! oneSearch, and fostering high-quality partnerships to enhance the user's mobile Internet experience. This approach should benefit all parties, producing a higher level of profitability and deeper consumer engagement."
Across the fast-growing Asia Pacific market, Yahoo! has entered into a total of twenty-three strategic mobile search partnerships with mobile operators, providing the company with an opportunity to bolster its market share of mobile search queries in the countries in which Yahoo! operates.
Additionally, Yahoo! today delivered the next phase of mobile search technology by launching Yahoo! oneSearch with voice for English speakers in Singapore and India.
Available beginning today for select BlackBerry devices including the 8800 series, Curve, and Pearl, this English language product is capable of understanding, disambiguating and learning accents localized for India and Singapore, allowing consumers to search for anything by simply speaking into their devices.
Yahoo! Go 3.0 for India
Yahoo! Go 3.0, Yahoo!'s flagship all-in-one mobile offering, is available for consumers in Australia, India and Southeast Asia to download today.
Consumers in Australia, India and Southeast Asia can download Yahoo! Go 3.0 on more than 270 mobile devices from major manufacturers worldwide and use it on most wireless networks by visiting http://m.yahoo.com on compatible devices.
New mobile widgets
Users in the Asia Pacific region will be able to access localized services from several new mobile widgets, including content from MTV Asia, Yahoo! Cricket, Yahoo! Answers, Showtimes (Yahoo! India Movies), and the Australian TV series Home and Away.
Yahoo! Mobile Widgets will be accessible through the new Yahoo! Go 3.0 and the Yahoo! mobile home page (http://m.yahoo.com).
Yahoo is also working on an open platform for mobiles as its key focus area that is touted to ironout inter-operability glitches and give a seamless experience to mobile users.
"We are working on making the mobile experience as good as the PC's."Opening the back-end is vital. That's how the PC advertising took off. Scale and seamless possibility is important for both publishers and users and that's why Yahoo wants to enable the mobile experience across multiple platforms." Ko said.