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Yahoo Struggles in Push for Mobile Deals

Matthew Vascellaro
Matthew Vascellaro

As CEO Marissa Mayer labors to revive Yahoo, the inability to get Yahoo apps onto more smartphones has become one of her biggest problems.

After revamping the company’s suite of mobile apps, from Web search and email to weather, sports and Flickr, Ms. Mayer has focused on striking deals with handset manufacturers and wireless carriers to pre-install the apps. Customers are more likely to use an app that comes with their phone, and preloaded apps have helped propel services including Twitter, Facebook and Dropbox.

Yahoo and AT&T recently discussed a possible deal to preload Yahoo services on the carrier’s devices, according to one person involved in the process. Yahoo has held similar talks with Amazon.com, which is expected to launch a phone this year, and Samsung Electronics, the biggest maker of Android smartphones in the world, though no deals were reached with those two companies, according to a person at Yahoo who was briefed on the discussions.

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Amazon could be a different story because it wants a competing set of apps to rival Google’s. But Amazon’s long-anticipated phone is not yet on the market.


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Yahoo said in January that its mobile usage is booming, with 400 million people using its services every month. But mobile revenue is still “not material.”

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