Apple announced several new flagship features in iOS 8 at its WWDC keynote a few weeks ago, but one of the quiet changes uncovered was that Yahoo has been replaced by The Weather Channel for weather data. The move came as a bit of a surprise, given that Yahoo has been aggressively pushing to have more of its services integrated across the iPhone software platform.
So, why did Apple make the switch? Interestingly enough, Yahoo weather services have actually been powered by The Weather Channel for quite some time. By cutting the middleman out of the equation, the iPhone maker benefits from more specific weather data and technologies that The Weather Channel did not provide to Yahoo…
Kara Swisher at Re/code elaborates:
“To convince Apple to make the shift and cut Yahoo out of the middle, the Weather Channel added a lot more technology and information to the offering that it does not provide to Yahoo,” writes Swisher. “That includes more weather specificity related to the location of a user, a nine-day forecast (up from five), a weather-conditions summary and more.”
An unidentified Yahoo executive claimed that the Internet giant “acted too late to save the deal,” and referred to it as a “high-profile loss.” Yahoo did not make ad revenues from its longtime weather partnership with Apple, but the sponsorship directed a lot of traffic to its online properties. Yahoo is said to have more than 400 million monthly active users on mobile, many of which come from these deals with smartphone makers.
Yahoo is forced to resort to offering useful applications for users to get information, since it does not have a smartphone like Apple, Google, Microsoft and several other of its competitors do. Swisher reports that some Yahoo employees are concerned that its stocks partnership with Apple could be next on the chopping block, to be replaced by a provider like Bloomberg, CNBC or Reuters.
Yahoo’s partnership with Apple is now seen as vulnerable:
“‘Others now see an in,’ said one person with knowledge of the situation. ‘Getting on these key mobile platforms is a must-have for Yahoo, since it does not have a phone, and now that status is vulnerable.’ As with the weather app, Yahoo gets a lot of its data for the stock app from others, too.”
Weather is not the only area that Apple has given Yahoo the cold shoulder. Despite efforts by Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer to improve its search offerings, with a focus on algorithmic searching and search advertising, Apple chose Microsoft Bing as its new default search engine for Spotlight. If it is any consolation, Apple also ditched Google in iOS 6 by removing its stock Maps and YouTube apps.
Do you use any Yahoo services?