Nokia to ditch their Ovi effort and just preinstall Yahoo!’s services? [Project Nike]

Yahoo! sent the press an invitation to join them at an event scheduled for Monday, May 24th at 10:00. The invite simply says “Please join Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz for an exciting announcement about providing global consumers with rich online and mobile experiences, and bringing forward a new era in keeping consumers connected.”

What could it be? Kara Swisher, who writes for The Wall Street Journal, poked and prodded her sources, and they say that Yahoo! will unveil “Project Nike”, which will integrate Yahoo! services such as email, search, and more, directly into Nokia devices. Does this sounds familiar to you? Samsung recently made the same announcement with Yahoo!. The South Korean giant said that they’re going to integrate Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Contacts and Calendar, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, and Yahoo! Weather on their Android and Bada powered devices.

What about all that money Nokia shoved into Twango, which would eventually be turned into Share on Ovi? Flickr is better. What about Ovi Mail, which during Nokia’s Q1 10 conference call was heralded as being the fastest growing email provider? What about Ovi Contacts? Which never really worked right in the first place.

Nokia arrogantly made the mistake of assuming that just because their services were preinstalled on a mobile device, people would use them. “Hey, it worked for Microsoft with Internet Explorer” they must have said to themselves as they sat in a conference room during the cold and dark winter in Finland. The reason bundling IE with Windows worked so well so Microsoft was because people were new to the internet. Today people who buy smartphones are looking to extend the internet presence they already have to a device that can fit in their pocket. They don’t give a shit about what’s preinstalled on a device. First thing they do after adding their contacts into the phone book is add and to their bookmarks, and delete the crap that’s already built in.

People know Yahoo!, it’s still a viable brand, and Yahoo! does have some genuinely interesting mobile services, so this can be seen as a win for both companies, but it’s also a little too late. If Nokia’s aim is to become an internet company, then having another internet company do all the heavy lifting doesn’t really fit that definition. If Yahoo!’s aim is to increase the amount of people using Yahoo! services on the go, then they couldn’t have picked a better partner since Nokia makes roughly 4 out of every 10 mobile phones sold today.

Monday isn’t too far off, so stay tuned to IntoMobile. When we find out more, you’ll be the first to know.

  • Andrew

    NOES! My Yahoo handle sucks : (

  • Peter Tosh

    I enjoyed reading this article. You summed up perfectly what we do when we get a new phone. Forcing Yahoo services might be good for Yahoo but it's bad for the consumer.

    Note to companies: We don't give a shit about your 60-day trial of your BS program.

  • The Crypticum Keeper

    Yahoo, a viable brand? More like a struggling one.

    But this would be typical Nokia: poorly launch something cool, relaunch it without much improvement, then kill it.

  • Jim

    I was planning on buying an E72 too, but not if it's going to be infested with Yahoo crap-ware. Honestly, has anyone ever tried to use their webmail? There's SO much spam, at such mind boggling amounts, the mail function is unusable.

    Yahoo search is also considered to be third rate, behind Google (and even Bing!!)

    It's why I switched to GMail.

    Why would Nokia tie itself to the Yahoo Titanic?

  • Tony

    I didn't have a problem with OVI contacts. I loved being able to add contacts on the web and then download them to my phone. But then they messed with OVI contacts (version 1.5?) giving it a worse interface and removing the company field. Now they have added back in the company field (now called organization), but it still is not used in their index as the company field was – that is, if you have Geico Insurance as a contact (no first/last name) it won't show up in the G section.

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