Mobile Musical Chairs: Google Befriends Nokia; Yahoo Snags T-Mobile Europe

Coming out of the Mobile World Congress this morning are two major mobile search (and probably ad) deals involving Google and Yahoo. Yahoo appears to have replaced Google as the search provider for T-Mobile in Europe, and it also appears to be ousting T-Mobile search partner Medio Systems in Europe (the latter just announced an “on device portal” for T-Mobile USA).

Google, for its part, has become a major search partner of Nokia, which is the world’s largest handset maker and controls 40 percent of the market. From the press release:

Nokia and Google today announced that Google’s popular search engine will be integrated with the Nokia Search application. The integration will begin in select markets with the Nokia N96, Nokia N78, Nokia 6210 Navigator and Nokia 6220 classic. Google search will be extended to additional Nokia handset models in the future. Ultimately, Nokia will make Google search available to its customers in over 100 countries around the world, serving mobile owners speaking more than 40 languages.

Nokia is not currently a member of the Open Handset Alliance/Android initiative and had seemed ambivalent about working with Google. This deal suggests future participation with Android. Yahoo also has a deal with Nokia. (Here’s a chart we did last year on handset maker partnerships. It needs an update, but it still has lots of useful information).

Here’s the updated, official Yahoo list of mobile partner relationships globally:

North America * AT&T * Helio * Rogers Wireless

Latin America * America Movil * Telefonica

Europe * T-Mobile * Telefonica * 3 Group * Orange * Simyo

Asia * Reliance Communications * Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. * Idea Cellular * BPL Mobile * Aircel Limited * Taiwan Mobile * PCCW Mobile HK Limited * PT Telekomunikasi Selular * PT Hutchison * PT Indosat, Tbk * PT EXCELCOMINDO PRATAMA Tbk. * Maxis Communications * DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd * Starhub Ltd * LG Telecom * SmarTone-Vodafone

Postscript: Yahoo also announced (after I had written this post) a new mobile service called “oneConnect,” which integrates messaging, social networking, and the user’s mobile address book. It’s part of the Yahoo Go 3.0 platform, which will also allow third party developers to build applications for distribution across Yahoo’s mobile network. This also potentially previews or hints at what Yahoo may be doing on the desktop to some degree in trying to turn email into more of a social medium.

Postscript 2: Google seems to be swapping T-Mobile for Orange as a partner.

For related news, see these clusters on Techmeme: Google/Nokia; Yahoo/T-Mobile.

Postscript 3: Medio provided the following statement about their relationship with T-Mobile:

Medio remains search provider for TMobile International’s on-deck portal – T-Zones. (Yahoo does not do this). Medio remains search provider for TMobile International’s Web and Walk Music/Games categories which connects users with information on tzones, their on-deck portal. Furthermore, Medio and TMobile International remains long-term strategic partners for this and future opportunities. And this does not impact Medio’s relationship with TMO USA. We continue to support TMO tzones in the US as well.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Mobile | Search Engines: Mobile Search Engines | Yahoo: Mobile & Go

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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